- Here are the origins of Santa's many traditions and customs:
From St. Nicholas and the Magi (The three wise men from the Orient in the New
Testament). They brought gifts for children and regarding St. Nicholas, he
delivered gifts of his own gold late at night to those less fortunate.
- Beard: St. Nicholas is traditionally seen as bearded. The Magi are
The familiar red suit of Santa Claus has evolved through the centuries. He has
many variations of the suit, including cloaks or long red robes. Did you know
that Santa only wears the red costume on Christmas eve and Christmas day. The
rest of the year he and his elves dress in white clothes to better blend in
with their surroundings at the North Pole.
- Reindeer: Santa uses
them as a form of transport. The reindeer he uses are known as Peary reindeer
and have a unique physical construction that allows them to be aerodynamic and
actually fly. In Scandinavia and Germany Santa comes on the 24th of December,
but he goes door-to-door like normal people.
- The stocking and chimney:
In England and America the annual visit is a secret and is done at night.
Although Santa is best known for using the chimney as the way he gets into
everyone's house, he also will use any way possible to enter a house and
deliver his presents. Santa has had to adapt over the centuries as homes have
changed and many do not have chimneys.
- North Pole: The home of
Santa Claus. His secret workshops were constructed in the arctic and
constantly change location as the ice at the Arctic Circle continually shifts
- Cap: Probably from the bishop's Mitre of St. Nicholas. Curiously
enough the Mitre resembles and possibly derives from the headgear of old Magi
images, Persian priests. the other Christmas present givers. The Phrygian
headgear of French Revolution fame might be another influence.