Were candy canes originally white?
The first known candy cane was made in 1670, allegedly by a German choirmaster to help children endure lengthy nativity services. They were white and supposedly modelled after shepherds’ canes – although like many religion-themed myths surrounding the origin of candy canes, there’s no evidence of this, according to Smithsonian Magazine.
What was Santa originally called?
You might think you learned the truth about Santa Claus as a child, but you probably don’t know everything about his origin story. Santa Claus wasn’t always the red-suited, white-bearded man he is today: As explained in National Geographic, Saint Nicholas was a real person who lived in Greece in the fourth century, who was known for gift-giving and whose feast day happens to be on December 6.
Dutch children have long cheered the annual coming of Sinterklaas – known also as St. Nicholas – who sports a crimson mitre and rolls into town on a steamboat filled with presents in mid-November. Then, he rides around on his mighty white steed Amerigo and distributes gifts. Over time, Sinterklaas’s image was transmuted into Santa’s, and Amerigo became a sled with flying reindeer.
What name was popularised by Washington Irving?
Washington Irving is generally considered the first man to significantly transform the Dutch Sinterklaas into “Santa Claus.” In his book History of New York, he spoofed the gift-giving legend and portrayed Santa Claus as a pipe-smoking sailor in a green coat. Then, inspired at least in part by Sinterklaas and the history of St. Nicholas, author Clement Clarke Moore wrote a poem titled A Visit from St. Nicholas, aka. The Night Before Christmas. From this work came much of what we now associate with Santa Claus: the flying reindeer, his ample gut, and jolly laughter.