Monday, December 23, 2013

White Santa?

The picture above is from a 15th century Russian Icon

This one is from the Kizhi Monastery in Karelia, on the Russian border of Finland.

Was Santa White?

Or more precisely, was Saint Nicholas white? And the answer is maybe he was, maybe he wasn't.  Born in Asia Minor in the City of Patara, a port on the Mediterranean has historically been identified as a Greek.  His parents were Epiphanius and Johanna according to some sources and Theophanes and Nonna in others.  His parents died in an epidemic and he was raised by an Uncle, also Nikolaos who was Biship of Patara.  St. Nicholas went on to become Bishop of Myra, just a little bit down the cost from his birthplace.  Maybe he's Greek, maybe he's Moor, maybe he's a bit of a mix.  The more important question is:


A Cultural Hodgepodge

The modern cultural construct of Santa Claus is a little bit of everything kludged together to form an advertising logo.  A little bit of everything from St Nicholas to Father Winter, Odin to Tomte. 
 Ded Moroz - Russian Father Frost

Georg Von Rosen
A Depiction of Odin

Père Noël



Lucy Nicholson/Reuters


Stay tuned in 2014 when we will address the long unanswered question of whether or not the tooth fairy is actually a transgendered Chinese midget.

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