Have you ever wondered about the origins of Santa Claus? Thought about how today’s Santa Claus evolved over centuries of stories to become the modern-day legend that he is? Like, why does he wear a red suit and sport a white beard? Why is his sleigh pulled by 8 magical reindeer? And why does all this occur on Christmas Eve?
Well, wonder no more! Regale stories of Santa this Christmas Eve with this handy fact sheet. Explore the origins of this most famous Christmas character of them all. If you’ve ever thought about how Santa Claus evolved into the jolly white-bearded man in a red suit he is today, then you’ll want to read this infographic!
Historical & Legendary Origins of Santa Claus
Much of today’s version of Santa Claus has its roots in ancient Pagan beliefs. The most likely beginning of Santa Claus dates back to the 300’s AD, with a monk named Saint Nicholas. The original Saint Nicholas was born in ancient lands that are now a part of modern-day Turkey. St. Nicholas was known for donating money and gifts to those in need. Makes sense now why Santa is so often referred to as Jolly Old Saint Nick!
Then there is Sinter Klaas, a mythical figure with historic and folklore ties to Saint Nicholas. Sinter Klaas evolved from the ancient Dutch version known as Sint Nikolaas. Dutch legends suggest that SinterKlaas was an elderly man with a long, white beard who wore a red cape over traditional bishop’s clothes. Many credit Sinter Klaas to be the precursor to the modern day Santa Claus. Hmm. I wonder. Perhaps it’s the red cape? Maybe the white beard?
Many also give partial credit for the evolution of today’s Santa Claus to the Norse God, Odin. Odin was most often depicted as a white-bearded man with magical powers. Legends say that during the Winter Solstice, Odin would lead a hunting party across the sky while riding an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir. Children would leave boots filled with carrots and hay near their chimneys to feed Sleipnir. In return for their generosity, Odin would leave gifts in their boots. Sounds very familiar, doesn’t it?
Read on to learn more about the legends that have shaped Santa Claus into who he is today, as well as the origins of several other well-known Christmas characters.
Infographic created by Kemp Florist. Find more great infographics on NerdGraph Infographics.
Do You Know The Origins of Santa?
Have you wondered about why Santa wears a red suit? Have you attempted to answer curious kids’ questions about the legends surrounding Santa? Do you know the origins of that jolly old man with a white beard? I sure didn’t!
I hope you found this infographic as much fun as I did! May Santa be with you and yours this festive Christmas season!
Happy Holidays, and to all, a good night. And a good week! I will be taking a short hiatus to spend time with family and friends. See you all in the New Year!