The mystery around the 6th of December and Santa Claus.


Anna Michael, Content Marketing Manager at The Study Abroad Portal, an online webinar platform that offers free Online Open Days with prestigious universities to students looking for a Bachelor, Master, PhD or MBA programme, is Syllabus blog writing guest this week. She is going to tell us about that merry generous big hearted man that we all love. Here is the story of Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus as we call him today.


A myth, a religion, a brand and your Christmas presents.
 But do you really know who this man is?

The Day of Saint Nicholas is approaching and we are looking forward to it! Is it a “bank holiday”, a “Feiertag” or “un día festivo” in your country, too? For those ones that live and study abroad, are you ready to celebrate it? And what’s the connection between the 6th of December, Christmas and Santa Claus? We want to figure it out!


The man behind the story

It is said, that Nicholas was a very kind and rich Greek Bishop, who lived in the 4th century in Myra, a region in Asia Minor – nowadays in the Southwest coast of Turkey. Nicholas was very known for his generosity and for secretly giving presents to poor people and children in need.


The Saint of the Students

Thanks to all the legends and stories about his big heart and very helping nature, he was made a Saint and got known as the “Wonderworker”. Although he is more famous for being the Saint of the children, Saint Nicholas is also the patron of the scholars and students in many countries in Europe. In Spain «San Nicolás» is the patron of the University of Valladolid, one of the two medieval universities of Spain.


6th of December

Due to the Great Persecution of the Christians in the Roman Empire, Saint Nicholas was put in prison and died on the 6th of December, but the exact year remains unknown.  His bones are now kept in Saint Nicholas Church in Bari as they were stolen from Turkey by some Italian merchants in the past.


Saint Nicholas turned into Santa Claus

In the 16th century, during the celebration of Christmas in northern Europe, the concept of giving presents to the children was transformed into “Father Christmas” or “Old Man Christmas” in the UK, “Pere Nöel” in France and “Christ Kind” in Germany. Later, the Dutch people took the faith about their beloved Saint Nicholas with them to the USA and they established the idea of “Sinterklaas”, our today’s Santa Claus!

With the time, the UK “Father Christmas” and the USA “Santa Claus” came closer together and now the story says that Santa lives in the North Pole, in Finland. His home is in the city of Rovaniemi in Lapland, but you won’t find him there during the festive season since, as you know, he is travelling the sky sharing gifts all over the world!




Study in the Beautiful Finland

You know who is still going to be in Finland though? The Study Abroad Portal organising Online Open Days with world class universities like the University of Helsinki and the University of Oulu that are inviting you to join the interactive webinars to find out everything you need about their Bachelor and Master programmes!

If you want to study abroad and do your Bachelor, your Master or your MBA in a new interesting country, don’t miss the Online Open Day.

To accept your present for this December, save your place now:


Coca Cola and Santa’s Red Suit

It is widely believed that that Coca Cola invented the unique red appearance of Santa Claus but this is definitely not true. Saint Nicholas worn his red robe long before Coca Cola became a world famous brand. It is known that during the Victorian times he wore a variety of colours like green and blue and in 1863, Harper’s Magazine, the second-oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the U.S, published an illustration of Santa Claus dressed up in Stars and Stripes! So yes, Coca Cola successfully used Saint Nicholas as its brand icon but there’s no way we can say that it has constructed him. In any case, Let’s get ready to celebrate him!




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