What is the nationality of Santa Claus?
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Q:

What is the nationality of Santa Claus?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the St. Nicholas Center, the persona of Santa Claus is loosely based on St. Nicholas, a bishop in Myra, Turkey who became the patron saint of children. Primarily through Dutch settlers celebrating his feast day, St. Nicholas became known as "Santa Claus" over time.

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Full Answer

The Dutch settlers in America who celebrated St. Nicholas's feast day referred to him in Dutch as "Sinter Klaas." Their celebrations gradually were incorporated into other American Christmastime festivities in the 18th and 19th centuries. The transition to the Santa Claus image popular today was hastened by the 1823 publication of Clement Moore's poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas," more popularly known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." In addition, images by 19th century cartoonist Thomas Nast, Norman Rockwell and Coca-Cola advertisements from the 1940s cemented the popular idea of what Santa Claus looks like.

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Related Questions

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    Who was St. Nicholas?

    A:

    Born around 280 in Patara, Lycia, part of present-day Turkey, St. Nicholas was a Christian bishop of Myra who served the poor and needy. He served as the prototype for the modern-day Santa Claus.

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    Who made up Santa Claus?

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    The modern image of Santa Claus is a combination of stories from Washington Irving and Clement Clarke Moore, the latter of whom wrote "A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1822. However, the origins of Santa Claus date back to 280 A.D. and a Christian saint named Nicholas.

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    Where did the tradition of Christmas stockings start?

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    The tradition of hanging Christmas stockings on Christmas dates back to the legend of St. Nicholas during the third century in Myra, Turkey. According to legend, filling stockings with gold was a way for St. Nicholas to give poor girls dowries.

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    What is Santa's real name?

    A:

    Santa's real name is Saint Nicholas. He was a monk who lived around 280 A.D. in the area now known as Turkey. He was admired for his kindness and became the subject of legends.

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