Images of Santa Claus

Despite traditionally being a Christian holiday, Santa Claus has become almost synonymous for both young and adults. He goes by many names, such as Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaas to name a few. Said to originate from Saint Nicholas of Myra, who was known for his generous gifts to the poor, Santa Claus seems to have taken character traits from several other historic or religious figure throughout time. Among others, Odin from Scandinavian folklore and Sinterklaas from Dutch folklore is said to have given inspiration to the Santa Claus we know today.

The traditions and lore surrounding him vary a great deal of, depending on culture. In the North American regions, he is known to allegedly come down the chimney with a sack full of presents for the children of the house. Often the children will leave cookies and milk out for him to snack on. However, this will also vary a great deal. E.g in Britain and Australia he is sometimes given a sherry and a mince pies instead. In the Scandinavian countries a rice porridge is often the dish of choice.

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