An Army of Santas An Army of Santas
A still from the documentary "Dejlig er den himmel blå", directed by Jon Bang Carlsen, 1975. Courtesy of The Danish Film Institute

An Army of Santas

Stach Szabłowski
time 4 minutes

Adults believe that Santa Claus does not exist. The good news is that he does. The bad news is that just before Christmas 1974 he was arrested in Copenhagen. And they ripped off his beard to boot.

Tired members of the precariat wandering around shopping centres in ugly Santa costumes at the holiday sales look like the pale and ghastly spectres of the Christmas myth. The popular diagnosis is that this myth has been hacked by marketers; Santa was kidnapped, corrupted and broken long ago. Or perhaps it’s not even a myth at all, but just a tall story completely devoid of truth?



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The St. Nicholas Code The St. Nicholas Code

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The Mysterious Origins of Santa Claus
Adam Węgłowski

Everybody knows who brings Christmas presents for children. But what’s the origin of the saint whose name this charming deception bears? It’s like something out of Dan Brown.

It was 1087. Not far from the city of Myra in Anatolia, by now almost completely taken from Byzantium by the Seljuk Turks, sailors from Italy arrived. They came from Bari, then a trading power and theoretically an ally of the Eastern Christians. But if the residents of Myra thought the Barese were sailing to their rescue, they were gravely mistaken. The seafarers had a different mission: to steal the relics of St. Nicholas, famous among Christians of the Middle Ages.

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