New year children around the world receive gifts. Russian children gifts brings Santa Claus, and in the West the main giver of the gifts Santa Claus. Who are these grandparents? Maybe it's the same character, and differences Santa Claus and Santa Claus - only in the national color?
No, it's completely different characters!
The Saint Nicholas The Wonderworker
The prototype of Santa Claus is a Christian Saint Nicholas, who lived in the second half of the III - first half of the IV century A.D. Since childhood he helped anyone who was in a difficult position. He was elected Archbishop in the city of the World - the center of the province of Lycia (modern Turkey). Archbishop Nicholas of Myra continued to help people and save their life. He became known as a reconciler of rivals, a defender of innocent prisoners and deliverer from death in vain, as very friendly people, especially to children. Saint Nicholas died in a ripe old age and was buried in the Cathedral Church of Myra. In 1087 the relics of St. Nicholas were transported to the city of Bari (Italy), where they rest today in a marble crypt in the deep dungeon under the temple.
How the Holy from the Mediterranean became the prototype of his grandfather, who, according to legend, a native of Lapland, and on the South never was?
According to legend, Nicholas helped the children and made gifts to the poor. To stay incognito, he threw the needy money out the window or the chimney. The purse could get into a Shoe or sock, which were dried next to the stove. Away went the custom on the night before the day of commemoration of St. Nicholas to put to the door shoes and stockings in bed in the morning to find gifts.
The tradition of making gifts to children on St. Nicholas day (6 December 19 December new style) existed in Europe already in the XIV century. Then this custom is "shifted" in time, and the gifts were doing for Christmas and St. Nicholas in the imagination of the children turned from the priest in the fabulous fun of the old man.
The first verbal image of Santa Claus was invented by the teacher Seminary Clement Clarke Moore, who under the Christmas read to his wife and children composed by him the poem "the Night before Christmas or a visit of St. Nicholas". He portrayed Santa Claus good elf who comes in eight deer and enters the house through the chimney to give gifts to children. Moore was not going to publish his work, but one of my friends without the knowledge of the author took the opus Moore in the newspaper "the Sentinel". The poem became very popular.
In 1863, American cartoonist Thomas Nast, who worked in the edition of "Harper's weekly", used the image of Santa Claus from the book of Clement Clarke Moore in his series of political cartoons. He has portrayed Santa as hero, giving gifts. Readers a character I liked, and then Nast has released many new funny images for kids, funny scenes from the life of Santa Claus.
And the red color of this coat was purchased through the publisher to Louis Prang, who spread in America the tradition to send family and friends for the Christmas holiday cards. In 1885 he published a greeting card, on which was painted Santa Claus in a red suit. Since then, Santa Claus with him did not leave.
The decision of the United Nations since 1984 "Land of Santa Claus officially proclaimed Lapland. There is the residence of Santa Claus, where he lives year-round with aides dwarves. There are written by children from many countries at: Santa Claus Office, Joulumaantie 1, 96930 Arctic Circle, Finland.
After the great October revolution, the war began with all the Christmas traditions. Santa Claus was persecuted with them. He returned to the Soviet children only on the eve of 1936, when it was decided to organize a children's New year celebration. In January 1937 Santa is welcomed guests at the festival in Moscow House of Union together with his granddaughter Snegurochka (snow maiden).
Since 1998, the Russian Santa Claus lives in the city of Veliky Ustyug (in the North-East of the Vologda region, 410 km from Vologda). The address of the Central post office of Santa Claus: 162340, , Veliky Ustyug, Santa Claus. Since 2005 also marked the "official" birthday of Santa Claus: 18 November. This date was chosen as the day, close to which in Veliky Ustyug on statistics hit the first hard frosts.