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The American version of St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus originally came from the Dutch version called Sint Nikolaas or Sinterklaas. The Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam (New York) brought this fun and lively tradition (some even say cult) to America.
This version of Santa has given the current myth its visual form and these most curious traditions:
A merry old man with red and white clothes
Eight flying reindeer, later joined by Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.
A home located on or near the North Pole
The habit of filling socks or stockings with presents on the night of December 24th.
Also the habit of entering houses through the chimney.
The most important single source for our modern day version of Santa Claus comes from the Christmas poem A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore. Written for his children in 1823, the family poem was later published for the general public and included what became the now famous picture of Santa Claus by Thomas Nast ( see below right ).
Actually the old "cult" of Santa Claus incorporates many traditions: Christian and Pagan, Old Catholic, Scandinavian, Dutch, German and English.
Santa brings us all together! Kids all over the world know who Santa is... And although he may be a little commercial, who can help, but love the jolly old elf?
It's the Idea of giving that reminds us; we are all on this planet together, for the long run.
Thanks for viewing.
2012©Sonali T. Gangane
November 27th, 2012
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