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.

Know More
What is the nationality of Santa Claus?
Credit: Sean Locke Photodisc Getty Images

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.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How old is Santa Claus?

    A:

    The holiday character of Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas, a Christian saint who was born in Turkey in 280 A.D. and believed to have died in 343 A.D. Dutch immigrants introduced his legacy to the United States in the 1700s, and the tradition of Santa Claus was born.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is Santa Claus real?

    A:

    Santa Claus is a myth told to children, but he does have historical roots in St. Nicholas. The legend of St. Nicholas dates back to 280 A.D. St. Nicholas was a monk who became the source of many stories, though the validity of the stories is unknown.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where did the tradition of Christmas stockings start?

    A:

    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.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who is Santa Claus?

    A:

    Santa Claus is a figure with legendary, historical and folkloric origins. Among several Western practices, he is believed to bring gifts to the homes of good children on the eve of Christmas (December 24). Other common names for Santa Claus are Saint Nicholas, Kris Krinngle or simply “Santa.”

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore