Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas...Sinter Klaas Comes To New York

Sinter Klaas, Sint Nikolass, Saint Nicholas or is it Santa Claus...?

Comes To New York

St. Nicholas made his first appearance into American popular culture towards the end of the 18th century. In December 1773, and again in 1774, a New York newspaper reported that groups of Dutch families had gathered to honor the anniversary of his death.

The name Santa Claus evolved from Nick's Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas). In 1804, John Pintard, a member of the New York Historical Society, distributed woodcuts of St. Nicholas at the society's annual meeting. The background of the engraving contains now-familiar Santa images including stockings filled with toys and fruit hung over a fireplace. In 1809, Washington Irving helped to popularize the Sinter Klaas stories when he referred to St. Nicholas as the patron saint of New York in his book, The History of New York. As his prominence grew, Sinter Klaas was described as everything from a "rascal" with a blue three-cornered hat, red waistcoat, and yellow stockings to a man wearing a broad-brimmed hat and a "huge pair of Flemish trunk hose."


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1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year my dear friend.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the visit....! I encourage and look forward to your thoughts and comments. Many Blessings...K

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