Friday, December 18, 2009

The Story of Santa Claus

Another Christmas Story for you..

Santa Claus is the most important and precious symbol for the celebration of Christmas. There is no evidence to prove whether St.Nicholas ever existed as a human or not. There are however some facts which indicates that the life story of Saint Nicholas was simply taken form those of Pagan Gods. His legends seems to have been mainly created out of myths attributed to the Greek God Poseidon, the Roman God Neptune, and the Teutonic God Hold Nickar. The Christian church created a fictional life history for St. Nicholas.

St. Nicholas became the subject of many legends. He loved children and threw gifts to make them happy from their windows. He also saved a sailor who fell overboard. The saint walked on water, retrieved the sailor and carried him back to the ship. He also gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. One of the ebst story about St. Nicholas is the one in which he saves three daughters of a poverty strickn family from being sold out in prostituion. To save them, he crept in the house and thre bags full of gold coins from their wondow. And for the third daughter he threw a bag of gold down the chimney into her stocking. Its from this that the tradition of putting stockins on the eve of christmas came over. He also rewarded children who studied catechism & behaved well.

Over the course of many years, Nicholas's popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. His kindness and reputation for generosity gave rise to claims he that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was known by his red cape, flowing white beard, and bishop's mitre.

It was basically in America, with the Dutch inspiration that St.Nicholas was transformed to SantaClaus. In the early days of Dutch New York, "Sinterklass" became known among the English-speaking as "Santa Claus. In 1809 Washington Irving, a member of the New York Historical Society (which promoted a Dutch Saint Nicholas as its patron saint), created a tale of a chubby, pipe-smoking little Saint Nicholas who rode a magic horse through the air visiting all houses in New York. The elfish figure was small enough to slide down chimneys with gifts for the good children and switches for the bad ones.

Thus we got our Santa Claus, credit to which goes to the works of Clark Moore and the cartoons of Thomas Nast. In 1822, Dr. Moore from New York wrote a Christmas poem, "A visit from St. Nicholas" to read out to his children on X'mas Eve. The following year one Ms Harriet Butler read the poem and requested a copy from him. Later she sent it without Dr. Moore's consent for publishing to Troy, New York Sentinel. Consequently it was published and became popular. In 1938 Dr. Moore revealed that St. Nicholas was his creation. And since then it has appeared countless times.

Last but not the least in response to the 8-year old Virginia O' Hanlon's query whether there really was a Santa Claus, editor of New York Sun replied "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus', and made Santa living for ever to the kids.


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