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10:10:59 AM Mar 15th 2010
About santa claus stemming from the dutch cristian tradition that isn't really true. Sinterklaas (who sant claus was derived from) was acctually a winter god. We all just pretended he was a saint to fool the cristian missionairies.

DaibhidC
05:50:38 AM Jun 6th 2010
Have you got a cite for that? Because the name Sinterklaas seems to be fairly obviously related to Saint Nicholas. Although I'm sure the pagan Dutch had a midwinter god who got folded into the St Nick tradition, since everyone else did.
Tannhaeuser
03:48:58 PM Jun 30th 2010
edited by Tannhaeuser
The Germanic god (or sometimes goddess — the figure seems to waver back and forth between the two) delivering gifts in mid-winter is discussed in Jacob Grimm's Deutsche Mythologie. Strictly speaking, he was not himself a winter god, but the spring god manifesting himself around the solstice, as a sign that spring was returning. His usual name was something like Bercht or Precht or Berchtha or Berchthold (all meaning, "the Bright One"), sometimes taken as the equivalent of the god Freyr/Fro/Ing. When the role of the shining god was taken over by St. Nicholas, Precht got down-graded to the saint's dark companion who inflicted punishments on naughty children, Rupprecht or the Krampus. The conception of the shining goddess was sometimes bundled together with the idea of the Christ Child delivering gifts, so that in some communities Kristkindl (Kris Kringle?) came in the form of a young woman wearing a white wedding dress.
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