By: Jasmine Wolfe
The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. It’s believed that Nicholas was born sometimes around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. It is said that he gave away all his inherited wealth and traveled to the countryside helping the poor and sick. Over the course of many years, Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. The name Santa Claus evolved from Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened from of Saint Nicholas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas).
The legend of Santa Claus wouldn’t be complete without the idea that kids who misbehaved are punished in one form or another. While Santa limits himself to giving naughty kids lumps of coal, darker counterparts who have far less mercy than Santa exist in Europe. No one knows where the real Saint Nicholas is buried, but Turkish archeologists claimed in 2017 that the remains are located beneath a church in Demre, Turkey, close to where the saint was born. The DNA sequencing could potentially match with Saint Nicholas, as genomic sequencing has been previously used to identify the remains of other historical figures.
Many don’t know the real story behind Santa Gabby Beard said “ I know that he would give candy and shoes” which is the french version of Santa. Colten Williams said “I just know that he’s a joyful old guy that gives present to the good.”
His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6th. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. Christmas being on December 25th has nothing to do with Santa, but more to honor Jesus’ birthday but Jesus’ birthday may not even be on December 25th being that The Bible doesn’t mention his exact birthday.