Chelsea (binkyrocks817) wrote in isocaplf,

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a little christmas history...

The legend of Santa Claus has been around longer than the jolly old fellow himself. The story begins with Saint Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor (what is now Turkey). He died and was buried there in 340 A.D., leaving behind a legacy of incomparable kindness and generosity.
During the Medieval Crusades (1095-1270 A.D.), Italian soldiers found his remains and took them to Italy. A church in the city of Bari was built in his honor, and soon, Christian pilgrims all over the world came to visit. These pilgrims took the legend of St. Nicholas back and spread it throughout their native lands.

Germany, France, and Holland celebrate Saint Nicholas Day on December 6. In Holland, Sinterklaas sails in on a ship on December 5. He carries a big book with the names of good children. Those who've been bad are taken away by his assistant, Black Peter. German children wait for Christkindl ("Christ child") to bring them gifts on Christmas Eve.

In Italy, La Befana, a kind old witch, brings presents on January 6. Children in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden believe in a lively elf called Jultomten who delivers presents with the help of his Yule goat, Julblock.
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