Historical Events  Religion
St Nicholas



What color were they before they were red?

Saint Nicholas was born in Greece in 270 AD. He was a bishop, so would have worn the appropriate bishops attire of the day.

He was known for being kind to children, often gifting them with presents as he travelled preaching the Christian word.

Many people who are aware the modern image of Santa Claus, in his red and white clothing with a huge white beard, is less than 100 years old, are surprised to hear how he looked originally. That's because they think he wore white flowing robes, whereas in fact they were mainly tan with a little green.


Saint Nicholas was a wealthy man. His parents left him a lot of money, which is how he could afford to give so many presents away. He helped the poor, and is even said to have given secret presents out - yes, there really was an actual secret Santa!

In Britain, the legend of a "Father Christmas" figure had been around for generations. When Saint Nicholas arrived there with the Normans in the 3rd Century, the pagan festivals merged with the Christian teachings to bring about the association with him at the time of the existing religious festival.

Of course the popular image of Santa being a jolly fat man with a red and white robe is also the subject of it's own Mandela Effect. The consensus is that image was created in the 1930's by Coca-Cola.

He probably came to represent the arrival of spring, and wore holly on his long green cloak. As the centuries passed, the image became cemented. He wasn't called Father Christmas then - in fact he didn't even have one name. Some of the other were King Frost, King Winter and even  Father Time.

When the Vikings invaded England at around the time of the first millennium, they brought their own legends such as Odin, who took on the manifestation of Jul at the end of December, and had a long white beard with a blue cloak. He also gave gifts to the worlds at this time whilst riding an eight legged horse, and had the ability to travel by magic to everyone in the world. Sound familiar? Mash all this up for a few hundred years and you can see where it all went...