10 Interesting Facts on the History & Origins of Santa Claus
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Ever wondered where Santa came from and just how he achieves the amazing feat of delivery a Christmas gift to every home around the globe?
If you’re wondering what the evidence is for Santa Claus, here’s a collection of ten interesting facts about Santa himself:-
1. His origins appear to be in the 4th century when Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, in Turkey, was kind to children and legend has it that he threw gifts from a window to poor children
2. As early as 1773 the name appeared in the American press as “St. A Claus,”, later becoming Santa Claus
3. The author Washington Irving gave Americans their first detailed description of Saint Nicholas, describing him as “a chubby little man with a jolly smile, drawn by a team of reindeer”
4. First seen in poetry in 1823, when Clement Clarke Moore made him even more famous with “The Night Before Christmas”, including the names of eight reindeer (not including Rudolf, who was to appear in 1939 as lead reindeer). This is one of the best loved and most re-told Christmas poems.
5. Historical letters from Santa, dating back to 1849, including well kept & interesting copies for the children of JRR Tolkein, are available both online and in print
6. First pictures & publicity, illustrator Thomas Nast, who depicted a rotund Santa for Christmas issues of Harper’s magazine from the 1860s to the 1880s, including his toy making.
7. “Is there a Santa Claus” was the title of an editorial appearing in the September 21, 1897 edition of the New York Sun, ending up with the much publicised verdict, “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”
8. In 1930, an image of Santa was used by a well known drinks company in a Christmas advertising campaign-big, depicting his white beard, black boots and a big red coat. This is the image that we know and love of him today.
9. In 1939 Rudolf, the ninth reindeer, is introduced by writer Robert May. His “very shiny nose” achieves almost instant fame, through songs such as “Rudolf the Red nosed reindeer” and later, TV and movie appearances.
10. In 1999, image recorded by SETI, search for extra terrestrials monitoring, you can actually see an image of the old man himself.