History of the legendary Santa Claus

He has many names which is changing from culture to culture in the Christian World, but everybody knows him. Especially, children are waiting for him on Christmas Eve with the hope to get a gift. Santa Claus, also known as Weihnachtsmann, Father Christmas, Ded Moroz, Pere Noel, Kerstman, or just "Santa". His the mythical figure over centuries who made many people happy not only children. The legend of Santa is based on the historical figure of "Saint Nicholas" of Myra (actual name Demre/ Turkey).

Origin of Saint Nicholas

According to historical and archaeological researches it is said that he was born in Lycia (Patara,Turkey) on 15th of March 270 AD. He grew up in a wealthy family who raised him to be a Christian. St. Nicholas, became a priest and afterwards rose to be a Bishop of Myra in very young age. He travelled to the Holly Land in his youth and obeyed Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor". He lost his family during the epidemic.

During the Roman Reign time (Emperor Diocletian, his reign is noted for the last great persecution of the Christians.) where Christians were persecuted ruthlessly he suffered a lot for his believes and faith, was exiled and imprisoned. After his release, St.Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325.

St. Nicholas died December 6, AD 343 in Myra, he dedicated his whole life in serving God. During his time he became well-known for helping people who are in need, by his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships. Within the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas. These stories give us information of his unique character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.

The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration in Christianity.

St. Nicholas Day, December 6th according to the Julian Calendar the 19th of December.

How to reach :

- There two ways to reach Myra (Demre), from Dalaman Airport or Antalya Airport.

- Both airports have direct flight from abroad.

- Direct flight from Istanbul Ataturk and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airports are available.

- From both airports are buses available to travel to Myra which takes about two and a half hour.

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