You dear Klaus! The really true story of Santa Claus
Santa Claus has a big problem in this country. He is said to be a cheap copy of Santa Claus, invented by Coca-Cola to boot. Conspiracy buffs even scent a big conspiratorial move by the food and entertainment industries to finally fill Christmas with commercialism and kitsch. Invented Santa Claus has namely perhaps even a German.
We write the year 1835, when the biggest enemy of Santa Claus is born. Whether Hoffmann von Fallersleben knew that with the simple line of text "Tomorrow Santa Claus will come" he would trigger a culture war almost 200 years later? At least one could come on this thought, if at the latest at the beginning of the Christkindlmarkte again Santa Claus faithful discover the Weihnachtsfeind number one in the department store.
Because no, there is no typing error here. The title of Fallersleben’s song is actually "Tomorrow Santa Claus will come" and in the lyrics he is also mentioned twice. Santa Claus, of all things!
Whether Santa Claus actually originated in Germany, however, is difficult to prove 100 percent – as is the case with many old mythical figures. One thing is for sure, Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, is very close to Saint Nicholas, but he is a very independent figure. In fact, one could even come up with the following formula. Saint Nicholas + some pagan characters = Santa Claus. "Father Christmas", for example, plays an important role: a figure dressed in green and red robes, who comes from England and likes to eat and spread happiness at Christmas time.
The Christ Child is an invention of Martin Luther
Maybe one or the other even discovers the god Odin or Wotan in Santa Claus. After all, he also hunted across the sky in wintertime. However, he did not distribute gifts during his wild hunt, but rather gave one or the other poor farmer a shock for life. Exciting: Neither Father Christmas nor Odin were really fond of children. Santa Claus has clearly inherited this trait from St. Nicholas. This is, by the way, also the reason why St. Nicholas has brought the presents in this country during the Christmas season for many centuries. Until he was replaced by the Christ Child – by the way, an invention of Martin Luther. He probably wouldn’t have thought that his declaration of war on the veneration of saints would be so successful.
While Catholics and Protestants in Germany were arguing about who was actually allowed to bring the presents, Santa Claus had long since been busy becoming internationally known.
A gift bearer for the new world
Those who aspire to real world fame are drawn to America. So also Santa Claus. Dutch immigrants are said to have brought the "Sinter Claas", later Santa Claus, to the New World, where he immediately started to bring presents together with many other Christmas characters. The friendly older gentleman with a long white beard, a cozy belly and a red robe was just one of many figures that haunted books and newspapers. Other popular Santas were about big and gaunt or small and wichtelig. And, he already existed in the 19. The nineteenth century – long before Coca-Cola secured this look for the world’s most lopsided advertising contract.
The fact that the Americans were so fond of Santa Claus had to do with a poem. "A visit from St. Niclas" (A visit from St. Nicholas), better known as "Twas a night before Christmas," planted Santa Claus in the American folk soul.
The artist Haddon Sundblom may not have had much in mind when he had the elderly, friendly man in red and white clothing drink a bottle of Coca-Cola as an advertising poster in 1931. Coca-Cola had already advertised with Santa Claus before that. However, he was not quite so jolly. He was skinny and tall. Maybe he just hadn’t drunk that much cola yet.
The rest, as they say, is history. Coca-Cola was richer by one advertising icon and all the others soon had an enemy image more. But is it really that clear? Not only does Santa Claus come from Germany, like so many Americans, perhaps. Even his name "Santa Claus" is basically nothing more than a corruption of "St. Nicholas". Niclas," that is, St. Nicholas.
Who would like, can make yes the test on the example. Just buy a chocolate Santa Claus and a chocolate Santa Claus and eat them both. At the latest in the mouth all differences melt away.