Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Secrets of Santa Claus Revealed

The secrets of how the legendary Santa Claus delivers gifts to millions of children throughout the world from the land of perpetual snow in one night have been closely guarded throughout the years, but one scientist believes he has the answers.

Also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or simply “Santa,” he brings gifts and toys to good children on Christmas Eve, riding upon his sleigh pulled by 8 flying reindeer.

The toys and gifts are made at his home and a workshop where he creates them with the aid of magical elves or other supernatural beings, and according to Canada Post his home in the North Pole lies within Canadian jurisdiction in postal code H0H 0H0. Some say it’s actually an entire village, inhabited by his helpers surrounding his home and shop.

How Santa Delivers Presents
Every year Santa has the colossal task of delivering presents to millions of children across the world — all in time for Christmas Day, and all in just one night.

So just how does Santa manage to achieve this seemingly impossible feat? A scientist in the U.S. explains how this mammoth accomplishment could be performed.

Dr. Larry Silverberg believes that Santa Claus is a technological genius. He explains how Santa manages this feat by exploiting the space time continuum. The scientist says that Santa understands that space stretches — you can stretch time and compress space, in essence giving him 6 Santa months to deliver the presents.
Dr. Silverberg is a professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, and has studied the Santa phenomenon in great depth.

Contrary to popular belief, he claims that his research shows that Santa does not carry presents for each child in his sleigh.

“We believe that he uses nanotechnology to grow the presents under the tree, and has figured out how to turn irreversible thermodemic processes into reversible ones. So he really starts with soot and natural materials, puts them under the tree, and grows them in a reverse process to create the presents, wrapping it all.” says Silverberg.

Then there’s the age-old question that Santa has to address every year — which children have been naughty, and which ones have been nice.

Dr. Silverberg says his methods are far more sophisticated than simply basing it on the sack loads of mail he receives.

“Before the entire process begins, Santa Claus listens to children’s thoughts. We believe the way he does this is by using large antennas that are miles long in the snow up at the North Pole.” Silverberg explains.

Santa’s trip on Christmas Eve takes in all continents and all time zones. Silverberg says that his sleigh is equipped with an onboard guidance system, and his reindeer are genetically bred to fly, balance on rooftops, and see in the dark.

The professor is convinced his revelations are of crucial importance to future research on Santa — studies that can only enhance the lives of children everywhere.

Track Santa on Christmas Eve
He can fly, but he can’t hide. NORAD, the joint Canadian-American military organization responsible for aerospace and maritime defense, regularly reports tracking Santa Claus on his magical flight around the world every year.

In addition to tracking Santa on the NORAD Tracks Santa homepage, you can also track his flight in Google Earth.

Santa Cams are ultra-cool, high-tech, high-speed digital cameras pre-positioned at many locations around the world only on Christmas Eve. The cameras capture images and videos of Santa and his reindeer as they make their journey around the world. Visit their website on December 24th to see Santa fly!

World Record of Santas
More than 14,000 people dressed as Santa Clauses paraded in the city of Porto in Portugal on December 14th to try to set a new world record for the largest gathering of Santas and raise money for charity.

14,000 Santa Clauses ‘break’ world record in Portugal.

According to the Guinness World Records, the previous world record for the largest gathering of Santas was set last year in Derry City, Northern Ireland, where a total of 12,965 people dressed up as Santa or Santa’s helpers.

Santa Claus Around the World
Saint Nicholas of Myra is the primary inspiration for the Christian figure of Santa Claus. He was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia, now in Turkey. Nicholas was famous for his generous secret gift-giving to the poor, but is now commonly identified with Santa Claus.

But each Nordic country claims Santa’s residence to be within their territory. In Denmark, he is said to live in Greenland near Uummannaq.

Sinterklaas — also called Sint-Nicolaas in Dutch and Saint Nicolas in French — is the traditional holiday figure in the Netherlands and Belgium, celebrated every year on Saint Nicholas’ eve on December 5th or, in Belgium, on the morning of December 6th. The feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of, among other things, children.

Sinterklaas arrival.

It’s also celebrated to a lesser extent in parts of France as well as in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and in the town of Trieste and in Eastern Friuli in Italy. Many Roman Catholics of Alsatian and Lotharingian descent in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. also celebrate “St. Nicholas Day” the morning of December 6th. The traditions differ from country to country, even between Belgium and the Netherlands.

In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas’ Eve on December 5th is the chief occasion for gift-giving. The evening is called sinterklaasavond or pakjesavond (”presents’ evening”). Traditionally, presents are ingeniously wrapped, and therefore called surprises. Presents are also traditionally accompanied by a poem from Saint Nicholas.

In Sweden, the town of Mora has a themepark named Tomteland. The national postal terminal in Tomteboda in Stockholm receives childrens’ letters for Santa.

Saint Nicholas.

The Finnish town Rovaniemi has long been known in Finland as Father Christmas’ home, and has a theme park called Santa Claus Village.

In the United Kingdom and Europe, his depiction is often identical to the American Santa, but he is commonly called Father Christmas.

In the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Germany, he is still portrayed as a bearded bishop in canonical robes.

Odin was sometimes recorded, at the native Germanic holiday of Yule, as leading a great hunting party through the sky. Two books from Iceland, the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, describe Odin as riding an 8-legged horse named Sleipnir that could leap great distances, with comparisons to Santa Claus’s reindeer.

According to Phyllis Siefker, children would place their boots filled with carrots, straw, or sugar near the chimney for Odin’s flying horse Sleipnir to eat. Odin rewarded them for their kindness by replacing the food with gifts or candy. This practice survived in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands became associated with Saint Nicholas and can still be seen in the modern practice of hanging stockings at the chimney.

This practice in turn came to the U.S. through the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in the 17th century, and evolved into the hanging of socks or stockings at the fireplace.

In Kyrgyzstan, a mountain peak was named after Santa Claus, after a Swedish company had suggested the location be a more efficient starting place than Lapland for present-delivering journeys all over the world. 2008 was officially declared the Year of Santa Claus in the country.

Santa’s Traditional Attire
Santa wasn’t always dressed in red and white. While the jolly Saint Nicholas was originally portrayed wearing bishop’s robes, in modern times, Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots which became popular in the U.S. in the 19th century.

Old Fashioned or European-Style Santa Suit.

Father Christmas dates back at least as far as the 17th century in Britain, and pictures of him survive from that era, portraying him as a well-nourished bearded man dressed in a long, green, fur-lined robe.

In Washington Irving’s History of New York in 1809, Sinterklaas was Americanized into “Santa Claus” but lost his bishop’s apparel, and was at first pictured as a thick-bellied Dutch sailor with a pipe in a green winter coat.

In the poem, “The Night Before Christmas,” Santa is established as a heavyset man with 8 reindeer, which were named for the first time.

In some images of the early 20th century, Santa was depicted as personally making his toys by hand in a small workshop like a craftsman. Eventually he enlisted the aid of many elves to make the toys, but they were still handmade by each individual elf working in the traditional manner

Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads,
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap –
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem.”
“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas too.
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry.
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turn’d with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight –
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

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