Santa Claus  

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-The [[United States Postal Service]] started a '''dead letter office''' in 1825 to deal with [[Dead letter mail|undeliverable mail]]. In 2006 approximately 90 million undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) items ended up in this office; where the rightful owners cannot be identified, the correspondence is destroyed to protect customer privacy, and enclosed items of value are removed.+'''Santa Claus''', also known as '''Saint Nicholas''', '''[[Father Christmas]]''' and simply "'''Santa'''", is a figure with [[legend]]ary, mythical, [[historical]] and [[folklore|folkloric]] origins who, in many [[western culture]]s, is said to bring [[gift]]s to the homes of the good children on [[Christmas Eve|the night before]] [[Christmas]], December 24. The modern figure of Santa Claus was derived from the [[Netherlands|Dutch]] figure of [[Sinterklaas]], which, in turn, was part of its basis in [[hagiography|hagiographical]] tales concerning the historical figure of Christian [[bishop]] and gift giver [[Saint Nicholas]]. During the [[Christianization]] of [[Germanic Europe]], this figure may have absorbed elements of the god [[Odin]], who was associated with the pre-Christian midwinter event of [[Yule]] and led the [[Wild Hunt]], a ghostly procession through the sky.
 +===Related topics===
 +* [[Christmas controversy]]
 +* [[Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus]]
 +* [[Flying Santa]]—a northeastern US tradition of pilots delivering presents to families in remote lighthouses
 +* [[Santa Claus, Indiana]]—a small [[Midwestern United States]] town named after the figure, and home to [[Holiday World & Splashin' Safari|Holiday World]] [[amusement park]]
 +*[[Easter Bunny]]
 +*[[Tooth Fairy]]
 +*[[Santa Claus's reindeer]]
-==In culture==+===Related figures in folklore===
- +* [[Joulupukki]] Original Santa-Claus from Finland
-*One famous fictional alleged employee of the dead letter office is Bartleby, the [[eponym]]ous character of Herman Melville's "[[Bartleby, the Scrivener|Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street]]".+* [[Mikulás]] (Hungary)
-*Alternative rock band [[R.E.M.]] released a compilation of B-sides and rarities entitled ''[[Dead Letter Office (album)|Dead Letter Office]]''.+* [[Companions of Saint Nicholas]]
-*In the 1947 film ''[[Miracle on 34th Street]]'', two mail sorters handle a letter addressed to "[[Santa Claus|Kris Kringle]]" at the [[New York City]] courthouse, and decide to deliver all the [[Santa Claus]] mail now in the dead letter office to the courthouse, where a man calling himself Kris Kringle is facing a mental competency hearing. The man's [[Lawyer|attorney]] uses the huge volume of mail as evidence that the federal government recognizes his client as "the one-and-only Santa Claus."+* [[Jack Frost]] and [[Old Man Winter]]—Mythical characters
-*The term "dead letter office" may be used in non-postal offices, in reference to any room of disused materials resembling a dead letter office.+* [[Olentzero]], Basque character, possibly derived from Roman traditions
-*Horror writer Clive Barker's book ''[[The Great and Secret Show]]'' features segments centered around the dead letter office at [[Omaha, Nebraska]].+* [[Saint Nicholas of Myra]] and [[Saint Basil]]
-*In ''[[The Simpsons]]'' episode "[[Sunday, Cruddy Sunday]]", [[Springfield Elementary School]] visits their local Post Office and are treated to a piece of undeliverable mail from the dead letter office as a [[souvenir]].+* [[Tomte]]—Scandinavian mythical character
-*In the 1996 comedy film ''[[Dear God (film)|Dear God]]'', a character played by [[Greg Kinnear]], who works in the dead letter office at Los Angeles, CA, responds to letters written to [[God]].+* [[Yule Goat]]—Scandinavian Christmas symbol
-*In Australia, the postal authority (Australia Post) has renamed the "Dead Letter Office" the "Mail Redirection Centre" although documentation as recent as September 2007 still refers to it as the "Dead Letter Office".+* [[Yule Lads]]
-*In [[Terry Pratchett]]'s book ''[[Making Money]]'', the Postmaster Moist finds Lord Vetinari, the Patrician and ruler of the city, wandering around the Blind Letter office of the Ankh-Morpork post office. Vetinari is able to work out that a letter addressed "Duzbuns Hopsit pfarmerrsc" is intended for a baker opposite a pharmacy on Pigsty Hill who "does those rather good curly buns".+* [[Ded Moroz]] (Father Frost, Russian: Дед Мороз) plays a role similar to Santa Claus
 +* [[Befana]]
 +* [[Moș Gerilă]] name of a character from Romanian communist propaganda
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and simply "Santa", is a figure with legendary, mythical, historical and folkloric origins who, in many western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on the night before Christmas, December 24. The modern figure of Santa Claus was derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, in turn, was part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of Christian bishop and gift giver Saint Nicholas. During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, this figure may have absorbed elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the pre-Christian midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.

Related topics

Related figures in folklore





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Santa Claus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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