Meaning of Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus)
What is Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus):
Santa Claus, also known by the names of Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus, is a typical character of the Christmas season who is in charge of distributing gifts to all the children of the world during Christmas night, from December 24 to 24.
Traditionally, he is represented in a red suit, with a belt and black boots, with a plump appearance and a good-natured and friendly character.
It is said that Santa Claus lives in the North Pole, where he has a toy factory in which hundreds of elves work to make the gifts that children have requested through their letters.
On Christmas night, Santa Claus goes out with his sleigh, pulled by reindeer, which magically has the ability to fly around the world.
In a magic bag he carries all the toys, which he gives only to those children who have behaved well throughout the year.
In Latin America it is known by different names: Santa Claus, San Nicolás, Santa Claus, Santa Clos, Viejito Pascuero or Colacho.
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Origin of Santa Claus
Santa Claus is a character typical of Christian Christmas that has evolved and taken elements from different characters and myths throughout history.
It is said that its oldest origin could be in Norse mythologies, in an earth spirit known as Tomte, Nisse or Tomtenisse. It was said that he was an old man, small and bearded. It was, above all, a beneficent spirit, bringing protection and abundance.
Christianity, however, bases the legend of Santa Claus on the figure of Saint Nicholas of Bari (hence it is also known as Saint Nicholas in many places), who was a Christian bishop who lived in Anatolia, present-day Turkey, in the 4th century.
Saint Nicholas was revered for his kindness, his great generosity and his predilection for children. It is said that on one occasion, when he learned of the situation of the daughters of a very poor man who did not have the dowry to give them in marriage, Saint Nicholas secretly entered his house and deposited gold coins inside the girls' socks, which they hung on the fireplace to dry.
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On the other hand, there are those who affirm that the tradition of giving gifts to children on these dates comes from Ancient Rome, where, at the end of the Saturnalia festivals, which were celebrated on the winter solstice, children received gifts from their elders .
Regardless, to trace the origin of Santa Claus as we know him today, we have to go back to the 19th century in New York City. There, the Dutch who founded the city celebrated the festivities of their patron saint, Sinterklaas. This name, adapting to the English pronunciation, became Santa Claus. And the first cartoonists to portray him took the image and original clothing of Bishop San Nicolás de Bari.
So Santa Claus is a mixture of various myths and characters, and today he is one of the most popular figures of Christmas around the world.