Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on the night of Christmas Eve and the early morning hours of Christmas Day.
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and demonstrating human values, and which possesses certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude.
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
Saint Nicholas of Myra, also known as Nicholas of Bari, was an early Christian bishop of the ancient Greek city of Myra in Asia Minor during the time of the Roman Empire.
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The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas, the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas.
Sinterklaas or Sint-Nicolaas is a legendary figure based on Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children.
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Some maintain Santa Claus also absorbed elements of the Germanic god Wodan, who was associated with the pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.
Yule or Yuletide is a festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples, later undergoing Christianised reformulation resulting in the now better-known Christmastide.
The Wild Hunt is a folklore motif that historically occurs in European folklore.
Santa Claus is generally depicted as a portly, jolly, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white fur collar and cuffs, white-fur-cuffed red trousers, a red hat with white fur and black leather belt and boots and who carries a bag full of gifts for children.
Glasses, also known as eyeglasses or spectacles, are devices consisting of glass or hard plastic lenses mounted in a frame that holds them in front of a person's eyes, typically using a bridge over the nose and arms which rest over the ears.
A beard is the unshaven hair that grows on the chin, upper lip, cheeks and neck of humans and some non-human animals.
This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" and of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast.
"A Visit from St. Nicholas", more commonly known as "The Night Before Christmas" and "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837.
Thomas Nast was a German-born American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist often considered to be the "Father of the American Cartoon".
A cartoonist is a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons.
This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, children's books, films, and advertising.
Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are enjoyed by children.
Santa Claus is said to make lists of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior, and to deliver presents, including toys and candy, to all of the well-behaved children in the world, and coal to all the misbehaving children, on the night of Christmas Eve.
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams.
He accomplishes this feat with the aid of his elves, who make the toys in his workshop at the North Pole, and his flying reindeer, who pull his sleigh.
The reindeer, also known as the caribou in North America, is a species of deer with circumpolar distribution, native to Arctic, sub-Arctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North America.
The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is defined as the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface.
A sled, sledge, or sleigh is a land vehicle that slides across the surface, usually of ice or snow.
He is commonly portrayed as living at the North Pole, and laughing in a way that sounds like "ho ho ho".