St. Nicholas or Santa Claus?
Following the reformation in 16th Century Europe, myths and traditions surrounding St. Nicholas decreased in popularity. But who was going to take on the task of delivering presents to all the good children every year? In the United Kingdom, particularly in England, it seems St. Nicholas’s legacy was taken on by ‘Father Christmas’ also known as ‘Old Man Christmas’, an old character originating in stories told in medieval Europe. In France, ‘Père Noël’ became known as a giver of presents at Christmas. In parts of Austria and Germany a golden-haired, winged representation of baby Jesus, the ‘Christkind’, delivers presents. This ‘Christkind’ became known as ‘Kris Kringle’ in America. As time went on, Dutch settlers brought the old stories of St. Nicholas to the United States and with ‘Sinterklaas’ the origin of ‘Santa Claus’ was born.
In many parts of Europe St. Nicholas’ day is celebrated on December 6. In some countries, among which the Netherlands, children leave socks or shoes out on the night of December 5 to have them filled with presents by the next morning. Leaving some hay and carrots out for ‘Sinterklaas’’s horse as well, they will be rewarded with sweets. During Victorian times, the myth of St. Nicholas was reawakened when poets and artists took an interest in the old stories about him. Arriving in the modern era, England’s ‘Father Christmas’ and his US equivalent, ‘Santa Claus’, became practically indistinguishable. It is sometimes thought that Santa lives at the North pole, even though the Finn’s believe him to live somewhere in Lapland. Yet everyone seems to agree that he travels in a floating sledge, pulled by flying reindeer and enters people’s homes through their chimneys at night to leave them presents in socks or under the family Christmas tree.
Regardless of where you might think Santa Claus resides, we’ll have you covered: Atelier Bassi created 5 different styles of Santa Claus made from yak or synthetic hair in various colors. We offer Santa wigs, beards, moustaches and eyebrows individually or as complete sets. All of the hairpieces are handmade and available as pre-styled versions. Our Santa Claus in dreadlocks could be something a bit out of the ordinary you might want to try this year.
Whatever you may believe about St. Nicholas, Père Noël, Santa Claus or Father Christmas, their status as a symbol of kindness remains certain.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year