Did You Know?

While the most widely known American version of Santa Claus is often credited to the 1823 Clement Clarke Moore poem “The Night Before Christmas,” Santa as we currently know him can be traced back even further, with origins dating as far back as the 4th century.

(MS) – While the most widely known American version of Santa Claus is often credited to the 1823 Clement Clarke Moore poem “The Night Before Christmas,” Santa as we currently know him can be traced back even further, with origins dating as far back as the 4th century. An early Dutch depiction is based on legend of Sinter Klaas, which was brought by Dutch natives when they settled in New York in the 17th century. In “History of New York,” famed author Washington Irving, writing under the pseudonym Diedrick Knickerbocker, provided detailed information about the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas. This Saint Nicholas would arrive on horseback every year on the Eve of St. Nicholas. The Christian-era Santa Claus owes much of its origins to Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna (now Turkey). Rich and generous, Bishop Nicholas was said bring joy to poor children by throwing gifts in their windows. The legendary Santa Claus has evolved over the years, and it should come as no surprise that he continues to enchant children no matter the era.