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[Warning] Nimrod In Town
12-05-2005, 02:19 PM
The dutch invented Santa Claus. Based upon Saint Nicholas, we have been celibrating Sinterklaas probably even before America was discovered. Saint Nicholas was a Turkish bishop who was able to revive a couple of children after they were cut to pieces by their father, who needed the meat for his customers (he was a poor butcher). Probably the honoring of Sinterklaas was introduced by the Spanish, who ruled over the Netherlands for a brief period of time, and thus introducing some catholic traditions (and they had good connections with Turkey during that time period). We pretend that Sinterklaas comes from Spain, and by tradition he comes to the Netherlands in november, a day celbrated as Sinterklaas intocht.This Link (http://www.omroep.nl/nps/sinterklaasjournaal/journaal_intocht.html) shows videos about how we celibrate it (click the yellow letters to start).

After Saint Nicholas revived the children, he gave them presents in their shoes, so they wont suffer from poverty (preventing their father to murder them again). This became the Sinterklaas tradition: at his death day 5 december (or 6 for the Belgians), which is celibrated like it is his birth day, he comes to houses and brings present to children who had good behavior. This is called Sinterklaasavond, and it is the conclusion of the period of time Sinterklaas visits the Netherlands (or Belgium).

This is what Sinterklaas looks like:

http://www.heerhugowaardplaza.nl/uploads/11112004sinterklaas2.JPG

Note that he is much skinnier then Santa Claus, but some similarities are visible.

He recieves aid from Zwarte Pieten, a group of black men, who work for Sinterklaas without getting paid. Cultural beliefs say they are black because they go down chimneys, but probably they have their origins in the colonial age (the Netherlands were very active in slave trade). This is what a Zwarte Piet (translated: black Pete) looks like:

http://photolog.isafeelin.org/archives/sint-piet.jpg

A great amount of Dutch immigrants took the tradition of Sinterklaas to America, most of them settled in the north (note the amount of villages called Holland there). When english became the official American language, Sinterklaas changed into Santa Claus. And because the celebration of Sinterklaas and the celebration of Christmas are so close together, they were linked together in American culture. I wonder though why you changed the static, tall, honorable saint image we have of Sinterklaas to the short, fat, laughing image of Santa Claus.

So now you know who you really have to thanks for when Santa Claus stops by your house.

Not in my original words.

Cejus
12-05-2005, 04:01 PM
German people use to celebrate "Sankt Nikolaus"-day, too. I've visited german schools my whole life, and every 6th of December, some man dressed up as Nikolaus brougth candies and fruits as a present for the little children. It's not a tradition in Spain, tho. I've never seen anyone celebrating the "Día de San Nicolás" here in Spain.

Read more (http://www.serve.com/shea/germusa/nikolaus.htm)

Tizzalicious
12-05-2005, 04:07 PM
Yay for Sinterklaas!

And of course, this was old news to me.

0r4ng3
12-05-2005, 04:27 PM
Can someone explain to me why he's also called "Chris Kringle"? I've heard that a couple of times, I think.

psychederic
12-05-2005, 05:32 PM
then the coke made santa look like a stupid fat clown that always smiles and gives presents to all kids that have been good...I'm never good and I get gifts every hear

Yatesy
12-06-2005, 07:54 AM
"Santa Claus" or "Father Christmas" was Chris Cringle who used to make toys and givie them to the children at Christmas, hence the whole giving presents at Chirstmas. Also he originally wore Green, not Red until Coca Cola came along with their advertising campaign and changing him forever. Also, another random christmas fact is that people originally had Goose for Christmas and not Turkey, which is understandable as Goose tastes miles better than Turkey. xD