When we hear about Santa Claus , anyone thinks of that chubby old man with a long white beard who lives in the North Pole and makes the children (and adults too) happy on Christmas Eve. He’s always riding his sleigh with his reindeer , the best known of which is Rudolf.
Legend of Saint Nicholas
The origin of Santa Claus comes from the legend of Saint Nicholas, a bishop who was born and lived in the 4th century after Christ in Patara, in the region of modern Turkey (there are several disparities regarding these dates and places). Nicholas belonged to a family of rich Christians and, as a result, made several trips to Egypt and Palestine, where he graduated as a bishop. With the death of his parents, Saint Nicholas inherited a great fortune and decided to distribute it among the poor and most needy. There are several legends that show his kindness from an early age but the best known is the one that tells that he helped 3 daughters of a neighbour with financial difficulties. It’s said that Saint Nicholas left a bag of gold coins hidden in the windows of the house for each one on Christmas night and was dressed in a red robe (the color that the bishops used). When he left the coins for the third daughter, the father realized and found out who the benefactor was. Because of that, he was so grateful for his action and decided to spread his good deeds. This image served to inspire the Christmas icon – an old man with a beard with a bag of gifts on his back.
Coca-Cola and Santa Claus
The story of Santa Claus is often associated with Coca-Cola because, in 1920, this Christmas figure first appeared in an advertisement. Until this announcement, the image of Santa Claus was only in people’s minds. It was known that he was a man, with a white beard, fat and that he wore red clothes but Coca-Cola wanted to immortalize and they created an illustration of Santa Claus. Since then, Santa Claus and Coca-Cola have been hand by hand, spreading the magic of Christmas.
Depending on the legend and the country, Santa Claus (or Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas) traveled in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, as well as in a donkey, and later, even went down the chimneys of the houses to deliver gifts to the children. The image of this Santa Claus lasts until today and, besides bringing us this Christmas magic, it reminds us that Christmas is a time of sharing, love, hope and great generosity.
Thank you all and Merry Christmas!