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For several hundred years, circa to , St.

by Andersen, Hans Christian

Nicholas was the unchallenged bringer of gifts and the toast of celebrations centered around his feast day, December 6. The strict saint took on some aspects of earlier European deities, like the Roman Saturn or the Norse Odin, who appeared as white-bearded men and had magical powers like flight.

He also ensured that kids toed the line by saying their prayers and practicing good behavior. But after the Protestant Reformation began in the s, saints like Nicholas fell out of favor across much of northern Europe. Bowler said that, in many cases, that job fell to baby Jesus, and the date was moved to Christmas rather than December 6. Some of these scary Germanic figures again were based on Nicholas, no longer as a saint but as a threatening sidekick like Ru-klaus Rough Nicholas , Aschenklas Ashy Nicholas , and Pelznickel Furry Nicholas.

These figures expected good behavior or forced children to suffer consequences like whippings or kidnappings. Dissimilar as they seem to the jolly man in red, these colorful characters would later figure in the development of Santa himself.

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Related: "Who Is Krampus? Explaining the Horrific Christmas Devil. In the Netherlands, kids and families simply refused to give up St. Nicholas as a gift bringer. They brought Sinterklaas with them to New World colonies, where the legends of the shaggy and scary Germanic gift bringers also endured.


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But in early America Christmas wasn't much like the modern holiday. The holiday was shunned in New England, and elsewhere it had become a bit like the pagan Saturnalia that once occupied its place on the calendar. And there was no particular, magical gift bringer. Then, during the early decades of the 19th century, all that changed thanks to a series of poets and writers who strove to make Christmas a family celebration—by reviving and remaking St.

Find out how Old Saint Nick became a beloved figure all over the world, and how his image has changed over the years. Washington Irving's book Knickerbocker's History of New York first portrayed a pipe-smoking Nicholas soaring over the rooftops in a flying wagon, delivering presents to good girls and boys and switches to bad ones.

In an anonymous illustrated poem entitled "The Children's Friend" went much further in shaping the modern Santa and associating him with Christmas. Nicholas, stripped him of any religious characteristics, and dressed this Santa in the furs of those shaggy Germanic gift bringers.

That figure brought gifts to good girls and boys, but he also sported a birch rod, the poem noted, that "directs a Parent's hand to use when virtue's path his sons refuse. Nicholas ," better known today as "The Night Before Christmas," for his six children, with no intention of adding to the fledgling Santa Claus phenomenon.

It was published anonymously the next year, and to this day the plump, jolly Santa described therein rides a sleigh driven by eight familiar reindeer.

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But familiar as the poem is, it still leaves much to the imagination, and the 19th century saw Santa appear in different-colored clothing, in sizes from miniature to massive, and in a variety of different guises. It wasn't until the late 19th century, he added, that the image of Santa became standardized as a full-size adult, dressed in red with white fur trim, venturing out from the North Pole in a reindeer-driven sleigh and keeping an eye on children's behavior.

The jolly, chubby, grandfatherly face of this Santa was largely created by Thomas Nast , the great political cartoonist in an era that featured many. Though he undoubtedly means well, Santa has certainly stirred up, and continues to create, more than his fair share of controversy. Attempts to displace Christmas in Russia were ultimately unsuccessful, as were Soviet attempts to spread a secular version of Grandfather Frost, complete with blue coat to avoid Santa confusion, across Europe.

Santa remains a politicized figure around the world. American troops spread their version of the jolly man around the world in the years immediately following World War II, and he was generally welcomed, Bowler said, as a symbol of American generosity in rebuilding war-ravaged lands. Nowadays, however, people in many nations have Santa on their own naughty list, either because he represents the secular side of Christmas at the expense of the religious.

Sometimes Santa is rejected because he's not a local. Such efforts seem unlikely to stop a growing interest in Santa Claus, but their organizers may save him a few stops on his busy Christmas Eve schedule. Read Caption. Santa Claus wasn't always "chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf.

From St.


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  8. Nick—no matter the name, everyone knows the story of this plump, jolly, bringer of gifts. Or do they? Classic Fairy Tales Princes, princesses, witches and mermaids not to mention a fashion-obsessed emperor and a house made entirely of gingerbread - just a few of the ingredients in this essential collection of fairy tales from Hans Christian Andersen and the brothers Grimm.

    She doesn't change voices and lacks excitement, but she is easy to understand. The characters of Russian fairy tales inhabit a spectacular Magical. Usually these changes add humor to the story. So I ran a segment on my blog to highlight these obscure and sometimes not-so-obscure fairy tales. Dedicated to the lives and fairy tales of the famous Brothers Grimm, the Grimmwelt is a new museum which opens on Friday So with the exception of the Nogoodoi Sesen and possibly the princes in "The Twelve Huntsmen" most of these Heroines aren't warriors, because that's not what fairy tales are about.

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose work 'Pied Piper of Hamelin' every fairy tale book swears by, is probably the most famous German author, to be the inspiration behind many literary works in English. Black grouse on the bog meadow. Below is an example of what we can achieve in this process. They play significant roles in early stories and legends.

    They have been translated in all languages, English being the most preferred. Some of the best fairy tale movies are primarily for children, but in recent years, several new, darker movies based on classic folklore tales have emerged, including 's 'Snow White and the Huntsman. Anyone who has attempted to hold a child's attention span for longer than a few minutes knows how difficult this can be.

    Ivy's fables, fairy tales and storys. The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen AR out in the ocean, where the water is as blue as the prettiest cornflower, and as clear as crystal, it is very, very deep; so deep, indeed, that no cable could fathom it: many church steeples, piled one upon another, would not reach from the ground beneath to the surface of the water above.

    Fairy Tale is a story, often intended for children, that features fanciful and wondrous characters such as elves, goblins, wizards, and even, but not necessarily, fairies. Lauren Suval studied print journalism and psychology at Hofstra University, and she is a writer based in New York. The Story of the Three Little Pigs. Beauty and the Beast. Read amazing stories, meet a dragon and help save a world.

    The Project Gutenberg eBook of Celtic Folk and Fairy Tales, by Joseph Jacobs

    Apr 1, 1. One day, a young woman knocks on his door. For more information on Twelve Musical Plays for Children, and to see our full catalogue of stage musicals for hire, visit fabermusicals. Fairy tales - often read for children - are fictional short stories with a fair amount of make believe. But how do you use them in your novel? At the Brisbane Writer's Festival, three authors got together to talk about just that.

    The most popular fairy tales throughout the ages.

    Record the list on a piece of chart paper. Soon the twig grew and quickly became a beautiful tree. Jul 22, Explore happyhippo56's board "preschool themes Fairy Tales", followed by people on Pinterest.

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    They just have to figure out what happens to the maiden and her brothers. Oooh, the excitement! This week we've brought you the top 10 timeless quotes from fairytales and the controversial top 10 songs from fairytale movies. The findings might confirm the long-disregarded theory of fairy tale writer Wilhelm Grimm, who thought that all Indo-European cultures shared common tales.


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    5. The brothers Grimm - The 40 best fairy tales: 1 - 20 1 Cinderella There was once a rich man whose wife lay sick, and when she felt her end drawing near she called to her only daughter to come near her bed, and said, Dear child, be pious and good, and God will always take care of you, and I will look down upon you from heaven, and will be with you.