We often hear about this holiday on December 6th, but what is really Saint Nicholas?
The story of Saint Nicholas has evolved over time and the tradition has changed to become that of our famous Santa Claus.
Santa Claus as we know him today was not the same in the past. Did you know that?
Discover with us today the real history of Saint Nicholas and his evolution until today in this blog!
THE DECEMBER 25 CELEBRATION
Before the birth of the baby Jesus, Westerners used to celebrate the passage to the winter solstice at the end of December. To celebrate it properly, they decorated their homes with fir branches and different types of foliage and organized feasts. They also gave gifts to each other, a tradition that is still alive today.
However, these pagan traditions were not at all approved by the Catholic Church. To counteract this festival, in 354 Pope Liberus decided to set the date of Jesus’ birth on December 25th in an attempt to make people forget the celebration of the winter solstice in favor of a religious festival. Objective successful!
THE STORY OF SAINT NICHOLAS
A few years later, people start talking about a famous Saint Nicholas who would perform miracles. But who was he?
St. Nicholas was a bishop living at the end of the third century in the south of today’s Turkey.
What was said about him was that he brought children killed by a butcher back to life, a sort of protector of children. His death is celebrated on December 6 by giving gifts to children who have been good.
The Saint Nicholas would then come down at night between December 5th and 6th with a white donkey or horse depending on the country, would pass through the chimney of the houses and would distribute gifts and delicacies to the good children.
In return, the children who would not have been good would be punished by the bogeyman.
A CELEBRATION THAT SPANS THE GLOBE
The celebration of Saint Nicholas extends to Northern, Eastern and Central Europe. It was the Dutch who brought their traditions to the American continent! The name of Sint Niklaas was reappropriated by the Americans and over time they distorted this celebration by naming it “Santa-Claus”.
In France, today we continue to celebrate St. Nicholas on December 6th even though we celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th.
THE STORY OF SANTA CLAUS
Santa Claus continues to vary with time and different cultures. We learn that he would not come from the sky but rather from the North Pole and that he would have a toy factory. It is in 1931 that the current Santa Claus and his story, that we all know, take shape. And it is thanks to the famous American brand of soda Coca-Cola!
It is at that time an ideal communication and marketing strategy to sell its new drinks in Winter!
What could be better than Santa Claus wearing the official colors of Coca-Cola, red and white?
The brand decides to accentuate the character and his jovial side, and it is at this time that our famous modern Santa Claus is born, in the United States!
However, this joyful and festive celebration of Santa Claus on December 25 obviously does not please the Catholic Church, which maintains that Christmas should remain the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
But the celebration of Santa Claus is so strong that it is quickly anchored in the culture of all countries.
The image of Christmas and its traditions may still vary for centuries to come.
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION TODAY
In our modern times, we celebrate Christmas Day on December 25th and Christmas Eve on the 24th. These two festive days mean a good meal with the family and an exchange of gifts.
It is true that it is sometimes difficult to find the ideal gift to offer and also to find the time to take care of it.
That’s why every year at G4 we take pleasure in helping you and making your gift search more enjoyable. We offer a selection of cycling apparel and accessories for Christmas that are sure to please any cycling enthusiast!
CHRISTMAS AT G4: OUR GIFT IDEAS
We’ve put together a nice selection of Christmas gift ideas for cycling enthusiasts!
Discover our “For her” selection of gift ideas for women, find elegant and comfortable feminine outfits, our “For him” selection of gift ideas for men with high-performance cycling sets for men.
Or our “Accessories and small pleasures” selection with cycling accessories for all and cycling sportswear, as well as the “Attitude Cycling Club” category to offer the person of your choice a membership to our community club along with his or her most beautiful club outfit.
And last but not least, our beautiful “Gift Card”, a gift that is sure to please everyone, and nothing could be easier and faster to give!
We wish you all a merry Saint Nicholas and a happy holiday season!
The G4 Team