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#3 How did Santa become the jolly old man that we know?

The joy of Christmas is not complete without an image of the cheerful man in red that we lovingly know as Santa Claus. Did you know that Santa has an amazing history, and his story dates back to as far as the third century! And that he did not always look like the big, jolly man we know – he took other forms from a Norse huntsman wearing animal skin to a spooky tiny elf. Let’s explore!

The Legend of St. Nicholas

The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back to a kind and generous monk named St. Nicholas who lived around 280 A.D. in modern-day Turkey. He gave away all his wealth and spent his entire life helping the poor and sick. His story traveled to New York in the 18th century with the Dutch families that migrated to the US.

Washington Irving,
an American author (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859)

The name Santa Claus evolved from his nickname Sinter Klaas, which was a shortened form of his Dutch name Saint Nicholas. In 1809, Washington Irving popularised the Sinter Klaas stories, when he referred to St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York, in his book.

But if Santa looked quite different then, how did he become the jolly man that we know?



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#3 Answer
TEAM EXPLORE: In 1823 Clement Clarke Moore wrote a poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas, more commonly known as The Night Before Christmas, where he referred to Santa Claus as a "right jolly old elf" with a portly figure and the supernatural ability to ascend a chimney with a mere nod of his head. This gave Santa a new form. Political cartoonist Thomas Nast made an illustration of Santa based on Moore’s poem for the Christmas...

Best Response
Master Karan Khanna 16 years.
January 10, 2014
The modern Santa Claus is taken from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, depicts giver Saint Nicholas. This image also became popular due to...

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Answers (2)
Miss esha arora, 17 years | Posted January 08, 2014
Santa Claus is generally depicted as a portly, joyous, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots and who carries a bag full of gifts for children. The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas.
Master Karan Khanna, 16 years | Posted January 10, 2014
The modern Santa Claus is taken from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, depicts giver Saint Nicholas. This image also became popular due to a famous poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" in which Santa was shown as the fat and jolly man in a red suit with beard and cap as we know him today.

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