A pumpkin is a vegetable, most commonly orange in colour when ripe, that grows as a fruit (gourd) from a trailing vine of the genus Cucurbita (Cucurbitaceae). Cultivated in North America, continental Europe, as well as in English cottage gardens, Cucurbita varieties include Curcurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita mixta, or Cucurbita moschata — all plants native to the Western hemisphere. The pumpkin varies greatly in form, being sometimes nearly globular, but more generally oblong or ovoid in shape. The rind is smooth and very variable in colour. The larger kinds acquire a weight of 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg) but smaller varieties are in vogue for garden culture. Pumpkins are a popular food, with their innards commonly eaten cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie. Pumpkins are traditionally used to carve Jack-o'-lanterns for use as part of Halloween celebrations.
Pumpkins and squashesPumpkins on sale at a Caribbean market
The name "squash" is applied in America to this and other species of the genus Cucurbita. The name is adapted from an American Indian word (see L. H. Bailey, Cyclopaedia of American Horticulture, for a fuller account of the squashes).
Summer squashes, like pumpkins, are mostly varieties of Cucurbita pepo; if picked while immature they are eaten as summer squash or marrow, but if left to mature on the vine will form a hard fruit like winter squash. Winter squashes are either C. maxima or C. moschata, and are not eaten in immature form. The varieties of pumpkins and squashes are numerous and great variety in size and shape; it is difficult to keep them pure if various kinds are grown together, but the true squashes (C. maxima) do not hybridize with the true pumpkin (C. pepo) species. If carefully handled to avoid cracking of the skin, and kept dry and fairly warm, winter squashes may be kept for months.Wagon full of pumpkins
Studies by the Royal Military College of Canada show promise for pumpkins and other members of the Cucurbita pepo family to be viable candidates for DDT phytoremediation. (see Scientific American, October 25, 2004)
Pumpkins have historically been pollinated by the native squash bee Peponapis pruinosa, but this bee has declined, probably due to pesticide sensitivity, and most commercial plantings are pollinated by honeybees today. One hive per acre (4,000 m² per hive) is recommended by the US Department of Agriculture. Gardeners with a shortage of bees, however, often have to hand pollinate.
Inadequately pollinated pumpkins usually start growing but abort before full development. Often there is an opportunistic fungus that the gardener blames for the abortion, but the solution to this problem of abortion tends to be better pollination rather than fungicide.Placing honeybees for pumpkin pollination Mohawk Valley, NY
Pumpkins are grown today in the US more for decoration than for food, and popular contests continually lead growers to vie for the world record for the largest pumpkin ever grown. Growers have many techniques, often secretive, including hand pollination, removal from the vines of all but one pumpkin, and injection of fertilizer or even milk directly into the vines with a hypodermic needle.
When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked and roasted, or made into various kinds of pie, alone or mixed with other fruit; while small and green it may be eaten in the same way as the vegetable marrow.Wikibooks Cookbook has more about this subject: Pumpkin
Pumpkin chunking is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons are the most common mechanisms. Some pumpkin chunkers grow special varieties of pumpkin, which are bred and grown under special conditions intended to improve the pumpkin's chances of surviving being thrown.
The hulless or semi-hulless seeds of pumpkins are eaten as a snack, similar to the sunflower seed. They are a good source of essential fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. In Latin America these are often greenish in color and known as pepitas. One of the typical pumpkin products of Austria is pumpkin seed oil.
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One of the typical pumpkin products of Austria is pumpkin seed oil. Descendants of colonizers still residing in these regions likewise continue the practices of their ancestors.. In Latin America these are often greenish in color and known as pepitas. Christians in Africa and Middle East who celebrate Christmas generally ascribe to the gift-giver traditions passed down to them by Europeans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. They are a good source of essential fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. People in East Asia, particularly countries that have adopted Western cultures, also celebrate Christmas and the gift-giver traditions passed down to them from the West. The hulless or semi-hulless seeds of pumpkins are eaten as a snack, similar to the sunflower seed. Santa Claus in Latin America is generally referred to with different names from country to country.
Some pumpkin chunkers grow special varieties of pumpkin, which are bred and grown under special conditions intended to improve the pumpkin's chances of surviving being thrown. Throughout Europe and North America, Santa Claus is generally known as such, but in some countries the gift-giver's name, attributes, date of arrival, and even identity varies. Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons are the most common mechanisms. See also: Christmas worldwide. Pumpkin chunking is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.
When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked and roasted, or made into various kinds of pie, alone or mixed with other fruit; while small and green it may be eaten in the same way as the vegetable marrow. The entire reindeer team would be vaporised within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip. Growers have many techniques, often secretive, including hand pollination, removal from the vines of all but one pumpkin, and injection of fertilizer or even milk directly into the vines with a hypodermic needle. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. Pumpkins are grown today in the US more for decoration than for food, and popular contests continually lead growers to vie for the world record for the largest pumpkin ever grown. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quantillion joules of energy per second each. Often there is an opportunistic fungus that the gardener blames for the abortion, but the solution to this problem of abortion tends to be better pollination rather than fungicide. 600,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates a lot of air resistance - this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.
Inadequately pollinated pumpkins usually start growing but abort before full development. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, by another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch). Gardeners with a shortage of bees, however, often have to hand pollinate. Even granding that the flying reindeer can pull 10 times that normal amount, the job can't be done with eight or even nine of them - Santa would need 360,000 of them. One hive per acre (4,000 m² per hive) is recommended by the US Department of Agriculture. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Pumpkins have historically been pollinated by the native squash bee Peponapis pruinosa, but this bee has declined, probably due to pesticide sensitivity, and most commercial plantings are pollinated by honeybees today. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself.
(see Scientific American, October 25, 2004). The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Studies by the Royal Military College of Canada show promise for pumpkins and other members of the Cucurbita pepo family to be viable candidates for DDT phytoremediation. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a pokey 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour. If carefully handled to avoid cracking of the skin, and kept dry and fairly warm, winter squashes may be kept for months. This means Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second - 3000 times the speed of sound. pepo) species. Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we're now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks.
maxima) do not hybridize with the true pumpkin (C. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stocking, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get onto the next house. The varieties of pumpkins and squashes are numerous and great variety in size and shape; it is difficult to keep them pure if various kinds are grown together, but the true squashes (C. This works out to 967.7 visits per second. moschata, and are not eaten in immature form. Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and rotation of the Earth, assuming east to west (which seems logical). maxima or C. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming there is at least one good child in each.
Winter squashes are either C. However, since Santa does not visit children of the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist (except maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total (or 378 million according to the population reference bureau). Summer squashes, like pumpkins, are mostly varieties of Cucurbita pepo; if picked while immature they are eaten as summer squash or marrow, but if left to mature on the vine will form a hard fruit like winter squash. There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. Bailey, Cyclopaedia of American Horticulture, for a fuller account of the squashes). While these viewpoints do not represent the majority of Christians, their comments have drawn the attention of critics such as the fictional Landover Baptist Church, whose website satirizes and parodies this viewpoint.. H. Some parents worry that their children might think that if they were deceived by their parents about Santa Claus, parents might also be deceiving them about the existence of God.
The name is adapted from an American Indian word (see L. Some parents are uncomfortable about "lying" to their children about the existence of Santa. The name "squash" is applied in America to this and other species of the genus Cucurbita. One prominent religious group that refuses to celebrate Santa Claus or Christmas for similar reasons are the Jehovah's Witnesses, but several denominations of Christians have varying concerns about Santa Claus. Some Christians would prefer that the focus of the Christmas season be placed on the actual birth of Jesus. . Paul Nedergaard, a clergyman in Copenhagen, Denmark, drew the ire of Danish citizens in 1958 when he declared Santa to be a "pagan goblin" after Santa's image was used on fundraising materials for a Danish welfare organization [Clar, 337]. Pumpkins are traditionally used to carve Jack-o'-lanterns for use as part of Halloween celebrations. 1]. Rev.
Pumpkins are a popular food, with their innards commonly eaten cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie. Following the Restoration of the monarchy and Puritans were out of power in England, the ban on Christmas was satirized in works such as Josiah King's The Examination and Tryal of Old Father Christmas; Together with his Clearing by the Jury (1686) [Nissenbaum, chap. The larger kinds acquire a weight of 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg) but smaller varieties are in vogue for garden culture. Following the English Civil War, under Oliver Cromwell's government Christmas was banned. The rind is smooth and very variable in colour. Such a condemnation of Santa Claus is not a twentieth century phenomenon, but originated among some Protestant groups of the 16th century and was prevalent among the Puritans of 17th century England and America who banned the holiday as either pagan or Roman Catholic. The pumpkin varies greatly in form, being sometimes nearly globular, but more generally oblong or ovoid in shape. As such, a small number of primarily fundamentalist Christian churches dislike the secular focus on Santa Claus and the materialist focus that present-giving gives to the holiday.
Cultivated in North America, continental Europe, as well as in English cottage gardens, Cucurbita varieties include Curcurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita mixta, or Cucurbita moschata — all plants native to the Western hemisphere. Despite Santa Claus's mixed Christian roots, he has become a secular representation of Christmas. A pumpkin is a vegetable, most commonly orange in colour when ripe, that grows as a fruit (gourd) from a trailing vine of the genus Cucurbita (Cucurbitaceae). Both were inspired by the Tales from the Crypt comic book.. For example: "I love you, Pumpkin!". All Through the House," part of the Tales from the Crypt (1972) movie and later remade as episode 1.2 and directed by Robert Zemeckis for the HBO series of the same name. "Pumpkin" is sometimes used as an affectionate term, often referring to one's significant other. Other darker impostors have appeared in slasher films such as the Silent Night, Deadly Night series of the 1980s, Santa Claws (1996), and in the short ".
Pumpkins were among the first foods from the "New World" adopted in Europe, probably due to a European cousin: Lagenaria. After the mostly well-meaning but clueless Halloween citizens capture Santa, they try to take over Christmas with disastrous results; the real Santa is almost eaten by the Oogie Boogie Man. Illinois produces more pumpkins than any other state in the United States.  Tim Burton's stop-action animated musical film The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) depicts Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, wanting to become Santa Claus after an accidental visit to Christmas Town. 90% of all pumpkins sold in the United States are used for Jack-o'-lanterns. Another recent devious mall Santa was played by Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa (2003), a film which gained normally family-friendly Disney "bad press". The town of Keene, New Hampshire currently holds the world record for the most lit pumpkins in one location. Gillen's performance lends credence to the theory that the mall Santa is not quite genuine.
All Hallows Eve on 31 October marked the end of the old Celtic calendar year, and on that night hollowed-out turnips, beets and rutabagas with a candle inside were placed on windowsills and porches to welcome home spirits of deceased ancestors and ward off evil spirits and a restless soul called "Stingy Jack," hence the name "Jack-o'-lantern". Played by Jeff Gillen, Santa is depicted as a larger-than-life figure who terrifies, rather than amuses, children. Using pumpkins as lanterns at Halloween is based on an ancient Celtic custom brought to America by Irish immigrants. Another less-than-friendly impostor appears in A Christmas Story (1983) as a disgruntled mall Santa at Higbee's Department Store (a real store in downtown Cleveland, Ohio) in the fictional town of Holman, Indiana. These nutrients turn to vitamin A in the body. This animated feature was made into a live-action movie in 2000, directed by Ron Howard and starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch. Pumpkins are orange because they contain massive amounts of lutein, alpha- and beta-carotene. Seuss's children's book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, where the Grinch attempts to rob the Whos in Whoville of their Christmas, but has a change of heart.
Raised by Larry Checkon from Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania in 2005, it is technically a "squash," Cucurbita maxima, and was of the public variety "Atlantic Giant," which is the "giant" variety - culminated from the simple hubbard squash by enthusiast farmers through intermittent effort since the mid 1800's. Arguably the most notorious impostor appears in the 1966 cartoon based on Dr. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,469 lb (666 kg). In this film, a bogus Santa steals all the Christmas presents and amateur detective Octavius (played by Herbert Yost) tries to recover them. The pumpkin is related to the cucumber. Probably one of the first films featuring a fake Santa Claus is the 1914 silent film The Adventure of the Wrong Santa Claus written by Frederic Arnold Kummer. Mashed pumpkin. Several films have been created which explore the consequences should an impostor Santa take over.
Pumpkin pie. The system is disrupted when the reigning Santa is murdered by his son, Damian, who then uses the position to attack the competing holidays of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Pumpkin soup. In The Hebrew Hammer (2003), the role of Santa Claus is traditionally passed down from father to son. She too is reluctant to take on the role. In Call Me Claus (2001) Lucy Cullins (Whoopi Goldberg) is an African American woman destined to become the next Santa Claus.
A recent and unique television special also draws upon the succession theme. Clause"). This film spawned a sequel in 2002, The Santa Clause 2 in which he must find a wife (the "Mrs. Reluctant at first, he falls in love with his newfound role.
After he puts on Santa's robes, he becomes subject to the "Santa clause" (like a contract) in which he is required to become the next Santa. In The Santa Clause (1994), Tim Allen plays Scott Calvin who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall off the roof of his house. In Ernest Saves Christmas (1988), Ernest (Jim Varney) aids Santa Claus/Seth Applegate (Douglas Seale) convince Joe Curruthers (Oliver Clark) to become the next Santa. It is also suggestive of Santa's miraculous ability to live for many years, but not indefinitely.
There is an elaborate sequence depicting the death of the previous office-holder (extremely advanced in age), and the selection of the new Santa Claus, which visually evokes the Papacy and also the divine/supernatural nature of the office/selection process. The film's prologue features a generous old man who assumes Santa-like duties in his home village, and strongly suggests Santa's saintly origins. The feature film Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) starring David Huddleston as Santa Claus and British actress Judy Cornwell as his wife Anya shows how Santa and his wife are adopted by elves (including elves played by Dudley Moore and Burgess Meredith) in order to deliver their toys all over the world. One genre of movies suggest that Santa Claus is not historically a single individual but a succession of individuals.
The latest film to depict Santa Claus in such a manner is The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), in which Father Christmas (James Cosmo) supplies the Pevensie children with the weapons and tools they need to battle the White Witch (Tilda Swinton). (John Lithgow). He is a hero in Tim Burton's Nightmare before Christmas held captive to Oogie Boogie. Z. Santa Claus: The Movie also contains a subplot in which Santa Claus rescues Joe (Christian Fitzpatrick) from his best friend Cornelia's (Carrie Kei Heim]) evil uncle B.
The Night They Saved Christmas (1984) starring Art Carney as Santa likewise chronicles how Santa Claus and Claudia Baldwin (Jaclyn Smith), the wife of an oil explorer, have to save the North Pole from explosions while her husband is searching for oil in the Arctic. In the Cold War-era film Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) where Santa Claus is captured by Martians and brought to Mars and ultimately foils a plot to destroy him. In this movie Santa allies with Merlin the magician to battle the Devil who is attempting to trap Santa. Some less-than-serious films feature Santa Claus as a superhero-type figure, such as the 1959 film titled Santa Claus produced in Mexico with José Elías Moreno as Santa Claus.
The Polar Express (2004), based on the children's book of the same name, also deals with issues and questions of belief as a magical train conducted by Tom Hanks transports a doubting boy to the North Pole to visit Santa Claus.. The newspaper editor tells her that indeed there is a Santa: "He lives, and he lives forever." Francis Pharcellus Church was the real-life editor and is played by Charles Bronson in the film. The television special Yes Virginia There Is A Santa Claus (1991) follows the true story of a young girl, Virginia O'Hanlon, who writes a letter to the editor of the New York Sun in 1897 after her friends tell her there is no Santa. This film was remade in 1994 and stars Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle and Mara Wilson as Susan Walker.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) starring Natalie Wood as Susan Walker revolves around the disbelief of young Susan whose mother (Maureen O'Hara) employs a kind old man (Edmund Gwenn, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor) to play Santa Claus at Macy's; he later convinces Susan that he really is Santa. She doubts because Santa has never visited her family because of their poverty. One of the first films of this nature was titled A Little Girl Who Did Not Believe in Santa Claus (1907) and involves a well-to-do boy trying to convince his poorer friend that Santa Claus is real. Another genre of Santa films seek to dispel doubts about his existence.
Interestingly enough, none of these films focus on Santa Claus's saintly origins. Frank Baum 's 1902 children's book of the same name, in which Santa is reared by mythical, magical creatures and is granted immortality by them. Two stop motion animation television specials addressed this issue: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (1970) by Rankin/Bass with Mickey Rooney as the voice of Kris reveals how Santa delivered toys to children despite the fact that Burgermeister Meisterburger had forbidden children to play with them and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1985), based on L. They explain how reindeer fly, where elves come from, and other questions children have generally asked about Santa.
Some films about Santa Claus seek to explore his origins. Later films about Santa vary, but can be divided into the following themes. A year later another movie titled Santa Claus was produced with sound on De Forest Phonofilm. Over the years various actors have donned the red suit (aside from those discussed below), including Monty Woolley in Life Begins at Eight-thirty (1942), Alberto Rabagliati in The Christmas That Almost Wasn't (1966), Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places (1983), Jan Rubes in One Magic Christmas (1985), David Huddleston in Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), Jonathan Taylor Thomas in I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998), and Ed Asner in Elf (2003). Kleinschmidt filmed partly in northern Alaska and features Santa in his workshop, visiting his Eskimo neighbors, and tending his reindeer.
A twenty-nine minute 1925 silent film production entitled Santa Claus by explorer/documentarian Frank E. Griffith titled A Trap for Santa Claus shows children setting a trap to capture Santa Claus as he descends down the chimney, but instead capture their father who abandoned them and their mother but tries to burglarize the house after he discovers she inherited a fortune. W. A 1909 film by D.
The scene closes with the children waking up and running to the fireplace just too late to catch him by the legs. He distributes the presents and mysteriously causes the appearance of a Christmas tree laden with gifts. He goes down the chimney and suddenly appears in the children's room through the fireplace. Santa Claus suddenly appears on the roof, just outside the children's bedroom window, and proceeds to enter the chimney, taking with him his bag of presents and a little hand sled for one of the children.
The mother tucks the children snugly in bed and leaves the room. Santa Claus' Visit in 1900 featured a scene with two little children kneeling at the feet of their mother and saying their prayers. After walking backward and surveying his work, he suddenly darts at the fireplace and disappears up the chimney. He then fills the stockings that were previously hung on the mantle by the children.
In this picture Santa Claus enters the room from the fireplace and proceeds to trim the tree. A year later, a film directed by George Albert Smith in 1899 titled Santa Claus (or The Visit from Santa Claus in the United Kingdom) was created. Another film called Santa Claus and the Children was made in 1898. In 1897, in a short film called Santa Claus Filling Stockings, Santa Claus is simply filling stockings from his pack of toys.
Early films of Santa revolve around similar simple plots of Santa's Christmas eve visit to children. Nick abound and apparently constitute their own sub-genre of the Christmas film genre. Motion pictures of St. Probably the only other place where Santa Claus makes as many appearances as in the malls is on the big screen.
Most young children seem to already understand this, as the "real" Santa would be extremely busy around Christmas time. If and when a shop or party Santa is discovered to be an imposter by an observant youngster, a common way out is to simply admit that he is not the real Santa, but helping him at this time of year. Essayist David Sedaris is known for the satirical diary he kept while working as an elf in the Macy's display, which he later published. In America the most notable of these is the Santa at the flagship Macy's store in New York City - he arrives at the store by sleigh in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the last float, and his court takes over a large portion of one floor in the store.
The area set up for this purpose is festively decorated, usually with a large throne, and is called variously "Santa's Grotto", "Santa's Workshop" or a similar term. His function is either to promote the store's image by distributing small gifts to children, or to provide a seasonal experience to children by having them sit on his knee (a practice now under review by some organisations in Britain , and Switzerland ), state what they wish to get, and often have a photograph taken. He is played by an actor, usually helped by other actors (often mall employees or contractors) dressed as elves or other creatures of folklore. Santa Claus is also a costumed character who appears at Christmas time in department stores or shopping malls, or at parties.
More popular, well-known songs about Santa Claus (mostly sung by children) include:. As early as 1853, Louis Antoine Jullien composed an orchestral piece titled Santa Claus which premiered to mixed reviews in New York that year [Horowitz, 213]. Over the years, Santa Claus has inspired several songs and even orchestral works. Many of these websites also include e-mail addresses, a modern version of the postal service letter writing, in which children can send Santa Claus e-mail.
Many other websites are available year-round that are devoted to Santa Claus and keeping tabs on his activities in his workshop. Many local television stations in the United States and Canada likewise track Santa Claus in their own metropolitan areas through the stations' meteorologists. This tracking can now be done by children via the Internet and NORAD's website. In 1958, Canada and the United States jointly created the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) and together tracked Santa Claus for children of North America that year and ever since..
Harry Shoup, received the first call for Santa and responded by telling children that there were signs on the radar that Santa was indeed heading south from North Pole. The Director of Operations, Col. The number was mistyped and children called the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) on Christmas Eve instead. In 1955, a Sears Roebuck store in Colorado Springs, Colorado, gave children a number to call a "Santa hotline".
Some people have created websites designed to allow children and other interested parties to "track" Santa Claus on Christmas Eve via radar; while in transit, Santa Claus is sometimes escorted by Air Force fighter jets . His address is this: Santa Claus, Santa Claus Village, FIN-96930 Arctic Circle, Finland. The Finnish Santa Claus lives in Korvatunturi but Santa's Official Post Office is situated in Rovaniemi at the Arctic circle. Children from Great Britain, Poland and Japan are the busiest writers.
He gets over 600,000 letters every year from over 150 countries. Through the years Santa Claus of Finland has received over eight million letters. In Britain it is tradition to burn the Christmas letters on the fire so that they would be magically transported by the wind to the North Pole however this tradition is dying out in modern times with few people having true open fires in their homes. (This postal code, in which zeroes are used for the letter "O" is consistent with the alternating letter-number format of all Canadian postal codes.) Sometimes children's charities answer letters in poorer communities or from children's hospitals in order to give them presents that they would not otherwise receive.
His address is: Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, H0H 0H0  (see also: Ho ho ho). Canada Post has a special postal code for letters to Santa Claus, and since 1982 over 13,000 Canadian postal workers have volunteered to write responses. Many postal services allow children to send letters to Santa Claus pleading their good behavior and requesting gifts; these letters may be answered by postal workers or other volunteers. Girls also request gifts for other people on a more frequent basis [Otnes, Kim, and Kim, 20-21].
Girls generally write more polite, longer (although they do not request more), and express more expressions of the nature of Christmas in their letters than in letters written by boys. Interestingly, some social scientists have found that boys and girls write different types of letters. These letters normally contain a wishlist of toys and assertions of good behavior. Writing letters to Santa Claus has been a Christmas tradition for children for many years.
Naughty children were once told that they would be left a roe (a bundle of sticks) instead of sweets, but this practice has been discontinued. The next morning they will find the hay and carrot replaced by a gift; often, this is a marzipan figurine. Children following the Dutch custom for sinterklaas will "put out their shoe" — that is, leave hay and a carrot for his horse in a shoe before going to bed — sometimes weeks before the sinterklaas avond. British, Australian and American children also leave out a carrot for Santa's reindeer, and were traditionally told that if they are not good all year round, that they will receive a lump of coal in their stockings, although this practice is now considered archaic.
In the United States and Canada, the tradition is to leave Santa a glass of milk and cookies; in Britain and Australia, he is sometimes given sherry and mince pies instead. Several rituals have developed around the Santa Claus figure that are normally performed by children hoping to receive gifts from him. Reindeer are also associated with the shaman, and like Santa Claus, many people believed that the shaman could fly.. Furthermore, the mushrooms were associated with reindeer who were known to eat them and become intoxicated.
The mushrooms were often hung (to dry) in front of the fireplace, much like the stockings of modern-day Christmas. This type of mushroom is brightly colored red and white, like Santa Claus, though the relevance of this is questionable. Apparently, during the midwinter festival (holiday season) in Siberia (near the North Pole), the shaman would enter a yurt (home) through the shangrak (chimney), bringing with him a sack of fly agaric mushrooms (presents) to give to the inhabitants. American mycologist Jonathan Ott suggests that many of the modern features attributed to Santa Claus may somehow be derived from those of the Kamchatkan or Siberian shaman.
Other additions to early ideas of Santa include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the ninth and lead reindeer immortalized in a Gene Autry song, written by a Montgomery Ward copywriter. Santa Claus continues to inspire writers and artists, such as in author Seabury Quinn's 1948 novel Roads. Many television commercials depict this as a sort of humorous business, with Santa's elves acting as a sometimes mischievously disgruntled workforce, cracking jokes and pulling pranks on their boss. 2; Belk, 87-100].
Claus as managers [see Nissenbaum, chap. That shift was reflected in the modern depiction of Santa's residence—now often humorously portrayed as a fully mechanized production facility, equipped with the latest manufacturing technology, and overseen by the elves with Santa and Mrs. By the end of the century, the reality of mass mechanized production became more fully accepted by the Western public. Eventually, the idea emerged that he had numerous elves responsible for making the toys, but the toys were still handmade by each individual elf working in the traditional manner.
In some images of the early 20th century, Santa was depicted as personally making his toys by hand in a small workshop like a craftsman. Some suspect that the depiction of Santa at the North Pole reflected popular opinion about industry at the time.
Images of Santa Claus were further cemented through Haddon Sundblom's depiction of him for The Coca-Cola Company's Christmas advertising. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Another popularization came in 1902 in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. In 1863, a picture of Santa illustrated by Nast appeared in Harper's Weekly (it is believed the inspiration for his image came from the Pelznickle).
Still, one of the first artists to capture Santa Claus' image as we know him today was Thomas Nast, an American cartoonist of the 19th century. Santa Claus later appeared in various colored costumes as he gradually became amalgamated with the figure of Father Christmas, but red soon became popular after he appeared wearing such on an 1885 Christmas card. In this poem Santa is established as a heavyset individual with eight reindeer (who are named for the first time). The poem is ascribed to Clement Clarke Moore, although there is some question as to his authorship.
Nicholas" (better known today as "The Night Before Christmas") in the Troy, New York, Sentinel on December 23, 1823. Modern ideas of Santa Claus seemingly became canon after the publication of the poem "A Visit From St. Irving's book was a lampoon of the Dutch culture of New York, and much of this portrait is his joking invention. For example, in Washington Irving's History of New York, Sinterklaas was Americanized into "Santa Claus" but lost his bishop's apparel, and was at first pictured as a thick-bellied Dutch sailor with a pipe in a green winter coat.
In the British colonies of North America and later the United States, British and Dutch versions of the gift-giver merged further. The same thing happened in Finland, but there the more human figure retained the Yule Goat name. By the end of the 19th century this tradition had also spread to Norway and Sweden (where the "nisse" is called Tomte), replacing the Yule Goat. In the 1840's, the farm gnome in Nordic folklore started to deliver the Christmas presents in Denmark, but was then called the "Julenisse", dressed in gray clothes and a red hat.
A straw goat is still a common Christmas decoration in Sweden, Norway and Finland. As an example of the still surviving pagan imagery, in Nordic countries there was the Yule Goat (Swedish julbock, Norwegian "julebukk", Finnish joulupukki), a somewhat startling figure with horns which delivered the presents on Christmas Eve. In other countries, the figure of Saint Nicholas was also blended with local folklore. Since the giving of presents is Sinterklaas's job presents are traditionally not given at Christmas in the Netherlands, but commercialism is starting to tap into this market.
The more serious gifts may be reserved for the next morning. The gifts themselves may be just an excuse for the wrapping, which can also be quite elaborate. Presents given during this feast are often accompanied by poems, sometimes fairly basic, sometimes quite elaborate pieces of art that mock events in the past year relating to the recipient (who is thus at the receiving end in more than one sense). Sinterklaas arrives from Spain on a steamboat and is accompanied by 'Zwarte Piet'.
He rides a white horse over rooftops and his helpers climb down chimneys to deposit gifts (sometimes in children's shoes by the fireplace). The connection with the original bishop of Myra is still evident here. He wears a red miter (a liturgical headdress worn by bishops and abbots) with a 'golden' cross and carries a bishop's staff. Sinterklaas wears clothing similar to a bishop's.
Nick. He is also known there by the name of Sint Nicolaas which explains the use of the two fairly dissimilar names Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas or St. Nicholas. The name Santa Claus is derived from Sinterklaas, the Dutch name for the mythical character based on St.
He typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, and was reflected in the "Ghost of Christmas Present" in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Father Christmas dates back at least as far as the 17th century in Britain, and pictures of him survive from that era, portraying him as a well-nourished bearded man dressed in a long, green, fur-lined robe. Pre-modern representations of the gift-giver from church history and folklore merged with the British character Father Christmas to create the character known to Britons and Americans as Santa Claus. The name originated from the fact that the person appeared to be a huge beast since he was covered from head to toe in furs.
Another form of the above tale in Germany is of the Pelznickel or Belsnickle ("Furry Nicholas") who visited naughty children in their sleep. Some tales depict Zwarte Piet beating bad children with a rod or even taking them to Spain (formerly ruled by the Moors) in a sack. In an alternate Dutch version, the saint is aided by Moorish slaves, commonly typified as Zwarte Piet ("Black Peter"). Yet other versions have the demon reform under the saint's orders, and go on to recruit other elves and imps into helping him, thus becoming Santa Claus.
Depending on the version, the saint either made the demon fulfil this task every year, or the demon was so disgusted by the act of good will that it chose to be sent back to Hell. The saint ordered him to go to each house and make amends, by delivering gifts to the children. Peter or Paul of Tarsus); the demon was trapped and forced to obey the saint's orders. The holy man sought out the demon, and tricked it with blessed or magical shackles (in some versions the same shackles that imprisoned Christ prior to the crucifixion, in other versions the shackles were those used to hold St.
The story states that the land was terrorized by a monster who at night would slither down the chimneys and slaughter children (disembowelling them or stuffing them up the flue, or keeping them in a sack to eat later). Another early folk tale, originating among the Germanic tribes, tells of a holy man (sometimes Saint Nicholas), and a demon (sometimes the Devil, Krampus, or a troll). (Other features, like the absence of one eye, are not found in Saint Nicholas.) This practice in turn came to America via the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam prior to the British seizure in the 17th century, and evolved into the hanging of socks or stockings at the fireplace. Odin's appearance was often similar to that of Saint Nicholas, being depicted as an old, mysterious man with a beard.
Children still place their straw filled shoes at the chimney every winter night, and Saint Nicholas (who, unlike Santa, is still riding a horse) rewards them with candy and gifts. This practice survived in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands after the adoption of Christianity and became associated with Saint Nicholas. 171-173]. 9, esp.
Odin would then reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir's food with gifts or candy [Siefker, chap. Children would place their boots, filled with carrots, straw or sugar, near the chimney for Odin's flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Prior to the Germanic peoples' conversion to Christianity, Germanic folklore contained stories about the god Odin (Wodan), who would each year, at Yule, have a great hunting party accompanied by his fellow gods and the fallen warriors residing in his realm. Also, a few villages in West Flanders, Belgium, celebrate a near identical figure, Sint-Maarten (Saint Martin of Tours)..
In Greece, Saint Nicholas is sometimes substituted for Saint Basil (Vasilis in Greek), a 4th century AD bishop from Caesarea. Saint Nicholas became revered by many as the patron saint of seamen, merchants, archers, children, prostitutes, pharmacists, lawyers, pawnbrokers, prisoners, the city of Amsterdam and of Russia. Nicholas were transported to Bari in southern Italy by some enterprising Italian merchants; a basilica was constructed in 1087 to house them and the area became a pilgrimage site for the devout. The relics of St.
In Europe (more precisely the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Germany) he is still portrayed as a bearded bishop in canonical robes. He was very religious from an early age and devoted his life entirely to Christianity. He was born at Patara, province of Lycia, Asia Minor. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes.
The first of these is Saint Nicholas of Myra, a 4th century AD Christian bishop of Myra in Lycia, a province of Byzantine Anatolia, now in Turkey. The modern Santa Claus is thought to be a composite character made up from the merging of quite separate figures. Since most activities associated with Santa Claus are extraordinary, such as delivering presents to all of the believing children in one night, keeping track of where every believing child lives, how he squeezes down chimneys, how he enters homes without chimneys, how he delivers presents without tripping motion detectors if the Christmas tree is not in the same room as the fireplace, why he never dies, how he makes reindeer fly, and how he survives in the cold at the North Pole, "magic" is usually used to explain his actions.
His home is usually given as either the North Pole, in northern Canada, Korvatunturi in Finnish Lapland, Dalecarlia in Sweden, or Greenland, depending on the tradition and country. Some modern depictions of Santa (often in advertising and popular entertainment) will show the elves and Santa's workshop as more of a processing and distribution facility, ordering and receiving the toys from various toy manufacturers from across the world. Claus and his elves manufacturing toys. During the rest of the year he lives together with his wife Mrs.
To enter the house, Santa Claus comes down the chimney and exits through the fireplace. On Christmas Eve, he rides in his sleigh pulled by flying reindeer from house to house to give presents to children. Conventionally, Santa Claus is portrayed as a kindly, round-bellied, merry, bespectacled white man in a red coat trimmed with white fur (perhaps remotely derived from the episcopal vestments of the original Bishop Nicholas), with a long white beard and green or white gloves. Much of the iconography of Santa Claus could be seen to derive from Russian traditions of Ded Moroz, particularly transmitted into western European culture through his German folklore equivalent, Väterchen Frost.
He delivers presents to children and has a red coat, fur boots and long white beard. Depictions of Santa Claus also have a close relationship with the Russian character of Ded Moroz ("Grandfather Frost"). In many Eastern Orthodox traditions, Santa Claus visits children on New Year's Day and is identified with Saint Basil whose memory is celebrated on that day. He forms an important part of the Christmas tradition throughout the Western world and Japan and other parts of East Asia.
This inspired the mythical figure of Sinterklaas, the subject of a major celebration in the Netherlands and Belgium, Germany (where his alleged date of death, December 6, is celebrated the evening before on December 5), which in turn inspired both the myth and the name of Santa Claus (actually a mispronunciation of the Dutch word "Sinterklaas" by the English settlers of New Amsterdam (later renamed New York)). Santa is a variant of a European person folk tale based on the historical figure Saint Nicholas, a bishop from the region that is now present-day Turkey, who gave presents to the poor. . Father Christmas is also present instead of "Santa" in Italy ("Babbo Natale"), Brazil ("Papai Noel"), Czech_Republic ("Ježíšek"), Portugal ("Pai Natal"), Romania ("Moş Crăciun"), Germany ("Weihnachtsmann"), Ireland ("Daidí na Nollag"), France and French Canada ("Le Père Noël"), Spain and Mexico ("Papá Noel"), Afghanistan ("Baba Chaghaloo"), and South Africa.
Using 'Santa' in places that predominantly call him 'Father Christmas' is often viewed as an Americanism and is quite rare, although they are generally regarded as the same character. "Father Christmas" is similar in many ways, though the two have quite different origins. Father Christmas is a well-loved figure in many countries and predates the "Santa Claus" character. Each name is a variation of Saint Nicholas, but refers to Santa Claus.
Santa Claus (also known as Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Santy or simply Santa) is a folk hero in various cultures who distributes presents to children, traditionally on Christmas Eve. "Why Track Him?" at NORADsanta.org. ISBN 0609605631. New York: Crown Publishers, 2000.
Twenty Ads that Shook the World. Twitchell, James B. ISBN 0786402466. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1996.
Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas, Spanning 50,000 Years. Siefker, Phyllis. ISBN 0060972610. New York: HarperCollins, 1988.
Legends, Lies, and Cherished Myths of American History. Shenkman, Richard. ISBN 0822216310. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1998.
The Santaland Diaries and Seasons Greetings: Two Plays. Sedaris, David. Nicholas of Myra" in the Catholic Encyclopedia at NewAdvent.org. "St.
ISBN 097488958X. 1948; facsimile reprint, Mohegan Lake, N.Y.: Red Jacket Press, 2005. Roads. Quinn, Seabury.
"Celluloid Santas" at Factmonster.com. Potter, Alicia. 309-317. 302 (October-December 1963), pp.
"The Japanese Popular Christmas: Coping with Modernity." American Journal of Folklore, 76, no. Plath, David W. ISBN 0961423498. Kennewick, Wash.: Natural Products Company, 1993.
Pharmacotheon: Entheogenic Drugs, Their Plant Sources and History. Ott, Jonathan. 17-29. 1 (Summer 1994), pp.
"Yes, Virginia, There is a Gender Difference: Analyzing Children's Requests to Santa Claus." Journal of Popular Culture, 28, no. Otnes, Cele, Kyungseung Kim, and Young Chan Kim. ISBN 0649412239. Knopf, 1996.
New York: Alfred A. The Battle for Christmas. Nissenbaum, Stephen. December 23, 1823.
Nicholas." Troy (N.Y.) Sentinel. "A Visit from St. [Moore, Clement Clarke]. In the Ten Ages of Christmas at BBC.co.uk.
"The restrained restoration of Christmas". Lalumia, Christine. Full text available here. . London: Charles Brome, 1686.
The Examination and Tryal of Old Father Christmas; Together with his Clearing by the Jury . King, Josiah. September 21, 1897. "Is There a Santa Claus?" New York Sun.
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Classical Music in America: A History of Its Rise and Fall. Horowitz, Joseph. ISBN 0879758481. Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1993.
The Trouble with Christmas. Flynn, Tom. "Jingle Belle" various issues . Dini, Paul.
"The Devil Is In Your Chimney!" at Landoverbaptist.org. "The Claus That Refreshes" at Snopes.com. ISBN 0226107787. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.
Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith: Children's Myths in Contemporary America. Clark, Cindy Dell. 337. 4 (October 1959), p.
"Attack on Santa Claus." Western Folklore, 18, no. Clar, Mimi. December 15, 2000. The Watchtower (New York).
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Belk, Russel W. ISBN 0451520645. 1902; reprint, New York: Penguin, 1986. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.
Frank. Baum, L. December, 19, 1926. "Santa Claus Claimed as a Real New Yorker." New York Times.
Barnard, Eunice Fuller. November 21, 2003. Washington Times. "Bad Disney".
New Zealand: Father Christmas; Santa Claus. Australia: Father Christmas; Santa Claus. South Africa: Sinterklaas; Father Christmas; Santa Claus. Israel: סנטה קלאוס.
Iran: Baba Noel. Uzbekistan: Qor Bobo (Snow Grandfather). Tatarstan: Qış Babay/Кыш Бабай (Winter Grandfather). India: ಸಾ೦ಟಾ ಕ್ಲಾಸ್ (in southern India).
Thailand: ซานตาคลอส (Santa Claus). Taiwan: 聖誕老人 or 聖誕老公公 (both literally 'the old man of Christmas'). The Philippines: Santa Claus. Korea: 산타 클로스 (Santa Harabeoji, or "Grandfather Santa").
Japan: サンタクロース (Santa Claus, or Santa-san). Indonesia: Santa Claus or Sinter Klass (from Netherland pronounciation ). Hong Kong: 聖誕老人 (literally 'the old man of Christmas'). China: 圣诞老人.
Peru: Papá Noel. Mexico: Santa Claus (pronounced "Santa Clos"); El Niño Dios ("God child," in reference to Jesus); Los Reyes Magos ("The Three Kings"; "Magi"). Dominican Republic: Santa Clos/Papá Noe. Costa Rica: San Nicolás or Santa Clos.
Colombia: El Niño Dios ("God child"). Chile: Viejito Pascuero. Brazil: Papai Noel. Argentina: Papá Noel, El Niño Dios.
United States: Santa Claus; Kris Kringle; Saint Nicholas or Saint Nick. United Kingdom: Father Christmas. Turkey: Noel Baba ("Father Noel"). Switzerland: Christkind.
Sweden: Jultomten ("The Yule/Christmas Gnome"). A more common and traditional christmas present-giving figure in Spain are "Los Reyes Magos" ("The Three Kings"; "Magi"). Spain: Papá Noel (Father Noel); the Tió de Nadal in Catalonia; Olentzero in the Basque Country. Slovenia: Bozicek.
Scotland: Bodach na Nollaig (Scots Gaelic: Old Man of Christmas). Russia: Дед Мороз (Ded Moroz, "Grandfather Frost"). Romania: Moş Crăciun ("Father Christmas"); Moş Niculae ("Father Nicholas"). Portugal: Pai Natal ("Father Christmas").
Poland: Święty Mikołaj / Mikołaj ("Saint Nicholas"). Norway: Julenissen. Netherlands & Flanders: Sinterklaas. Macedonia: Dedo Mraz.
Lithuania: Kalėdų Senelis. Liechtenstein: Christkind. Latvia: Ziemassvētku vecītis. As well as the Befana, an old lady, comes out on the Epifany, Jan 6th).
Italy: Babbo Natale ("Father Christmas"); La Befana (similar role as Santa Claus; she rides a broomstick rather than a sleigh, although she is not normally considered a witch); Gesù Bambino ("Baby Jesus"); Santa Lucia (A child saint "operating" in the Northern regions, bringing gift on December the 12th. Ireland: Daidí na Nollag ("Father Christmas") among Irish speakers. In Icelandic folktales, there are 13 Santa Clauses. Iceland: Jólasveinn.
Hungary: Mikulás ("Nicholas"); Jézuska or Kis Jézus ("child Jesus"). Greece: Άγιος Βασίλης ("Saint Basil"). Germany: Weihnachtsmann ("Christmas Man"); Christkind in southern Germany. France: Le Père Noël ("Father Christmas"); Père Noël is also the common figure in other French-speaking areas).
Finland: Joulupukki. Estonia: Jõuluvana. Denmark: Julemanden. Czech Republic: Ježíšek (diminutive form of Ježíš ("Jesus")).
Croatia: Djed Božićnjak ("Grandfather Christmas"), used to be Djed Mraz (Grandfather Frost) before 1990, Mali Isus ("Baby Jesus"), Sveti Nikola ("Saint Nichlaus") bringing gifts or rod on December the 6th. Canada: Santa Claus (among English speakers); Le Père Noël ("Father Christmas"), among French speakers. Bulgaria: Дядо Коледа (Diado Koleda (Grandfather Christmas)), used to be Дядо Мраз ( Diado Mraz (Grandfather Frost)) before 1989. Belgium: Sinterklaas ("Saint Nicholas") among Flemish speakers; Le Père Noël ("Father Christmas"), among French speakers.
Austria: Christkind ("Christ child"). "Christmas All Over the World" (1985), Words & Music by Bill House and John Hobbs, from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Santa Claus: The Movie, sung by Sheena Easton. "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" (1979), by Randy Brooks, recorded by Elmo Shropshire and Patsy Trigg. "Up on the Housetop" traditional.
Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie. "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (1935) by J. "Santa Baby" (1953) by Joan Javits, Philip Springer, and Tony Springer, performed by Eartha Kitt. "The Night Santa Went Crazy" (1996) by "Weird Al" Yankovic (satire).
"Little Saint Nick" by Brian Wilson, performed by The Beach Boys. Nicholas" traditional. "Jolly Old St. "I Believe in Father Christmas" by Greg Lake and Peter Sinfield.
"Here Comes Santa Claus" (1947) by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman.