Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa (Santy in Hiberno-English), is a legendary figure of Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved ("good" or "nice") children on Christmas Eve (24 December) and the early morning hours of Christmas Day (25 December). The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas, a fourth-century Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra, the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas (himself also based on Saint Nicholas). Some maintain Santa Claus also absorbed elements of the Germanic god Wodan, who was associated with the pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.
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A common misconception is that Santa Claus obtained his red coat from Coca-Cola, because at the time they were one of the first companies to market Santa on their products, and their trademark color is red. However this is not true, at Santa wore his red outfit in stories before his image was mass-produced.
Contributed by Ellie Apple Carlin
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