Last Friday, I had a little lunch stroll to take some pictures around the area. I made it a point to stop at the World Trade Centre Building because every year they have a fantastic exhibit of Santa Claus. Its from the traditions of all over the world and how they came to be. Its pretty neat actually.
As a part of Christmas celebrations, I’m taking you on a Santa journey around the world. Sounds fun, right? Lets go!
The first one we have is Father Ice (also known as Dedt Moroz) and his legend is originated from Siberia. The story is that a kind and gentle girl was pushed from her own home by her (Evil) Stepmother to the Frozen Forest during a storm. Father Ice appeared and showered her with diamonds. The stepmother learns about this and sends her own daughter to do the same. Disgusted by this, Father Ice froze her for eternity.
21st Century Santa
Santa Claus is rocking it in the 21st Century here with his gadgets and staying fit. It seems 21st Century Santa is doing what we saw in Arthur Christmas. Cellphone to keep in contact with the North Pole headquarters and he even has a tablet to track the gifts for the children.
Black Peter helps St. Nicholas in taking care of the bad children. He is more known in Central Europe through different names such as Butz and Hans Trapp in different parts of Germany and Pere Fouettard in France. If you’re a naughty one, he’ll be the one dropping off that lump of coal. Apparently if the naughty child’s behaviour has changed, he will deliver a gift instead.
Russian Saint Nicholas
Russian Saint Nicholas is actually a Ukrainian version of Saint Nicholas from the growth of belief in Christianity into Russia. By the 1800s, it had established this figure as the Russian Saint Nicholas that gave birch rod switches as punishment and a reward of gift symbolized by the christmas tree.
Saint-Nicholas- Bishop of Myra
This is seemingly where it all started. Saint Nicholas was a bishop at the church in Myra, a city in Asia Minor. He has a deep understanding of the church at a young age and this made him a church high official and was called “Boy Bishop”. There aren’t many written stories about him as they were mostly passed on generation after generation secretly by families. We know him by all the names around Santa Claus, Kriss Kringle, Pere Noel, Father Christmas, etc but he remains a symbol of unselfish generosity, good cheer and joy.
Medieval Santa was known to be around the twelfth century when there were kings and castles and wizardry and so on and so forth. During the Christmas season, the castle gates would remain open and Medieval Santa would give out gifts by foot and spreading good cheer. The folklore goes that when his load was too heavy, he would have merry gnomes helping him out.
The Lutheran Church in Bavaria saw Santa in a different way. They saw him as the messenger of the Angels. This Santa would bring the requests of the children up to heaven and then would descend to give the gifts from the angels.
North Pole Santa Claus
So we finally arrive at the one that is most widely known and its North Pole Santa Claus to end things off.
Its a nice little exhibit on Santa Claus all around the world. Which one do you like the best? Have you heard of any of these before? I’ve only heard of North Pole Santa and Saint Nicholas-Bishop of Myra, the other ones are actually quite new to me.