Q:

Does Santa Claus exist?

A:

Quick Answer

Santa Claus is a fictional character from Christmas tradition. An amalgamation of folklore, myth and historical literature, Santa Claus is primarily based on a canonized Catholic bishop from the 4th century named Saint Nicholas.

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Full Answer

The modern concept of Santa Claus is based primarily on the poem published in 1823 by Clement Clarke Moore, "The Night Before Christmas," which was originally titled "A Visit From Saint Nicholas." This poem contains the first references to elves, the sleigh pulled by reindeer, entering homes by chimney and the bag of toys. Since the publishing of Moore's poem, the Santa Clause legend has developed through songs, illustrations, movies and numerous other media.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is Santa Claus an elf?

    A:

    Santa Claus, as a folklore legend, is not considered an elf, though it is often told that he employs elves in his workshop. He is almost always portrayed as a heavy-set Caucasian human with a full white or gray beard.

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  • Q:

    What is Santa Claus called in Madagascar?

    A:

    In Madagascar, Santa Claus is called "Dadabe Noely" in Malagasy and "le Bonhomme Noel" in French. Santa Claus in Madagascar wears a red suit with white fur trim and brings gifts, much like Santa Claus in the United States.

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  • Q:

    What does Santa Claus look like in Mexico?

    A:

    Santa Claus in Mexico, or San Nicolas de Bari, appears much as other Santa Clauses throughout the world: an old man with a red coat. This red coat is represented by the bright red flowers of the poinsettia that is native to Mexico.

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  • Q:

    What is Santa Claus called in Germany?

    A:

    In Germany, Santa Claus is referred to as "Weihnachtsmann" and the literal English translation of that name is "Christmas Man." Christmas in Germany is celebrated in a similar way to Christmas in the United States, except Santa Claus visits on Christmas Eve as opposed to Christmas Day.

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