The Origins Of Santa Claus
Here at Great Outdoors Pediatric Dentistry, we know many little patients who adore Santa Claus! Christmas just wouldn’t be complete without him. You may be surprised to learn that our modern day Santa actually originated in the Mediterranean, and worked his way through Northern Europe before finally ending up here.
So, Who Is Santa?
Santa Claus’s original ancestor was a man named St. Nicholas, a Greek bishop who lived in the 3rd and 4th centuries. St. Nicholas was a thin, wiry man known for being feisty and defiant. In other words, he wasn’t at all similar to the Santa we know today! St. Nicholas was a bishop during the time of ‘Great Persecution,’ when Bibles burnings were commonplace and religious leaders were forced to deny Christianity or face execution. Even under this threat, St. Nicholas defended the Church’s doctrine.
Because of his bravery and selflessness, St. Nicholas was known as a bringer of gifts and even had a day dedicated to him – December 6th.
Eventually, people from the Netherlands brought St. Nicholas (whom they knew as “Sinterklaas”) with them to the New World colonies. Once here, St. Nicholas rapidly gained popularity, although the early American Christmas celebration would be unrecognizable to us today – it was an alcohol-fueled, outdoor festival, full of rowdy men and women!
However, in the early 19th century, some writers and poets banded together to make Christmas a more family-oriented celebration. By the end of the 19th century, St. Nicholas had become the Santa Claus we know and love today!
From all of us at Great Outdoors Pediatric Dentistry, we want to wish you and your families a healthy and happy holiday season! Keep our Dover, New Hampshire office in mind next time your children are due for a dental cleaning and exam.