Who Invented The Santa Claus?

Santa Claus is one of the most famous and beloved figures for children.

He is also known as Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus and in the Western culture, he is in charge of distributing gifts at Christmas.

Its invention or emergence cannot be attributed to a particular person, but here we will delve into its
history.

This character is older than one might suppose, its beginnings go back to the ancient solar myth that took place on the winter solstice.

He was one of the many characters that were adopted and renamed by Christianity in pursuit of the reconciliation between paganism and its new religion. This personality was syncretized by Christians with the figure of Nicolás, a Christian bishop of Greek origin. The Christians of the Middle Ages revered him excessively, and his relics are preserved to this day in Italy, in the Basilica of Saint Nicholas. Nicolás lived in the fourth century, the son of a family with a good economic situation.

His parents did not agree with the future of Nicolás.

His father wanted him to go into business, like himself, while his mother wanted him to become a priest, following in the footsteps of his uncle, who was Bishop of Mira. A plague struck the city and his parents, who were helping the sick, ended up succumbing.

Moved by this situation, Nicolás distributed his fortune among those in need and went to meet his uncle, in Mira, to become a priest.

When his uncle died, Nicolás, who had been ordained as a priest, was elected bishop. There are many stories that are told about this character, especially for his kindness to the people most in need and for certain miracles
attributed to him.

So great was the admiration and devotion that he aroused that he ended up becoming the patron saint of Greece, France, Turkey, and Russia.

How is Santa Claus related to Christmas?

In ancient Rome, celebrations were held in the middle of December in honor of Saturn.

At the end of the festivities, all the children received gifts from the adults.

Later, there were other figures in charge of giving presents to infants such as a fairy in Italy, a magic trunk in Spain, or also goblins and other magical beings.

When consolidating the figure of San Nicolás, this was gradually replacing certain characters of paganism.

When did the figure of Santa Claus as we know it today become popular? In 1863, the German cartoonist Thomas Nast designed the fat, bearded and good-natured character for Christmas strips in Harper’s Weekly.

At the end of the 19th century, the Lomen Company popularized with one of its advertisements the belief that Santa Claus was traveling on a reindeer sleigh from the North Pole.

In the 20th century, the Coca-Cola company decided to use the figure of Santa Claus for one of its advertisements.

For this, he commissioned the painter Haddon Sundblom to modify the image giving the character a more humanized and realistic physiognomy. The 1931 campaign was a success and Sundblom continued to work on the Santa Claus figure for Coca-Cola until 1966.

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