Sunday, December 17, 2017

Father Christmas is not Santa Claus

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Well, he is now, but he never used to be. 

That is what I have longed believed, and there is evidence to support this view in a page on the Arthuriana site.

It says the earliest reference to Father Christmas:
comes from the mid-fifteenth century, when a Sir Christëmas appears in a carol, although most discussions start with Ben Johnson's early seventeenth-century old or Captaine Christmas. 
Whilst strenuous efforts were made by the puritans of the seventeenth century to do away with this character, they did not succeed. 
In the nineteenth century Father Christmas benefited from the general Victorian revival of Christmas and can be found in, for example, Dickens' Christmas Carol. 
However, from the 1870s onwards Father Christmas became increasingly like the American Santa Claus, both in terms of his actions - he started giving gifts - and his appearance, with the result that two are nowadays virtually inter-changeable. 
 The page also has useful links to more research on this question.

1 comment:

Robin Burn said...

On a lighter note,purely quantum mechanics, Marco Vojinovic gives a rational answer to his ability to perform on Christmas Eve "Santa Claus as a Macroscopic Quantum Phenomenon

A very thoughtful Christmas

Robin Burn I Eng FIMMM