Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A pictorial history of Santa

Odin was the leader of a great hunting party through the sky on the native Germanic holiday of Yule. There were some traditions in which children would place boots filled with carrots, straw or sugar near a chimney for Odin's flying horse, the eight-legged Sleipnir. Odin would reward the giving children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir's food with gifts or candy.

Christian Saint Nicholas of Myra. He was a 4th century Greek Christian bishop of Myra and a generous man and gift giver to the poor.

Greek Orthodox and Byzantine Christian Saint Basil of Caesarea. Basil's feast day is January 1.

Dutch Sinterklaas or De Goede Sint.

The British Father Christmas dates back to at least the 17th century. He appears in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and in C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

In the 1840s, a being in Nordic folklore called "Tomte" or "Nisse" started to deliver the Christmas presents in Denmark.

Clement Clarke Moore's St. Nicholas from A Visit From St Nicholas (1823), illustration created later by F.O.C. Darley.

Thomas Nast's St. Nicholas (circa 1866).

L. Frank Baum's Santa Claus of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1902) as illustrated by Mary Cowles Clark.

White Rock Beverages used a red and white Santa to sell mineral water (1915) and ginger ale (1923).

The Coca Cola Santa Claus as designed by Haddon Sundblom in the 1930s.

Today's Western Santa Claus.

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