7 December 2009

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Christmas Trivia Questions Time: "Who Are You Mr. Claus?"


Just about everyone in the world knows that jolly toy-bearing
Christmas figure from the North Pole, but how much do we really
know about him?

Here are a few quick trivia questions about our beloved Santa
brought to you by 247trivia.com.



Q: Where does the name Santa Claus come from?

A: The name Santa Claus was derived from Sinterklaas, the Dutch
term for the ancient Christian figure of Saint Nicholas who was
famous for his generosity to the poor (more about him later).
The Dutch immigrants to America imported their gift-giving saint
to New Amsterdam where he merged with his British counterpart,
Father Christmas, to become America's own Santa Claus.


Q: everyone knows that Santa lives in the North Pole, but where
is the real St. Nicholas from?

A: St. Nicholas who many consider to be the inspiration for
modern Santa Claus was born in Patara around 275AD. Patara is
located in present day Turkey, on the Southern Mediterranean
coast in what is today an international tourist resort area
where visitors spend hours basking in the warm Mediterranean
sun. Certainly not a place you would want to be wearing fur
coats in.


Q: If you really wanted to find St. Nicholas today, where would
you go looking?

A: You may enjoy a trip to the North Pole, but if you really
want to honor St. Nicholas, you would do better by heading
towards Italy, where the remains of St. Nicholas are stored in
the basilica of St. Nicola in the city of Bari. They have been
there since the 11 century when they were, uh… borrowed… from
their previous resting place in Myra in present day Turkey.


Q: Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and his companions take Santa
on his rounds completely airborne. How is it that reindeer can
fly?

A: Many people believe that the tale of flying reindeers (as
well as other parts of the Santa story), originates from Lapland
in modern day Finland. Some say that in Lapland reindeer had a
habit of seeking out the hallucinogenic amanita mushrooms which
they ate and then would prance around while under their
influence. As these mushrooms are quite toxic, it was regular
practice for local shamans to drink the urine of tripping
reindeer for a "safe high" and then "fly" together with them.
This could also explain the general cheerful disposition (with
the "ho ho ho" and all), and the flushed red cheeks of today's
Santa
.


Q: Where did Santa get his unique outfit?

A: While it's no secret that the marketing people of Coca Cola
have a lot to do with the modern image of Santa, some say the
roots go way back. The same North European Shamans that liked to
consume those red and white mushrooms with their reindeers used
to wear quite a similar outfit when they went out to collect
their pickings – red and white fur trimmed coats with long black
boots. As implied above, it's quite certain that St. Nicholas
was no inspiration for this outfit, as he lived in sunny south
Turkey.


Q: Who was the first to create Santa's modern image?

A: Coca Cola still uses the iconic images of Santa which were
hugely successful in the 30s, and created for it by the gifted
artist Haddon Sundblom, an American of Swedish origin (does
Northern Europe ring any bells here?). However the modern image
of Santa was only finally standardized in his works, but had
actually been developing for years before. Coca Cola wasn't even
the first beverage company to make commercial use of every
child's jolly toy bearing hero – a company called White Rock
beverages used him to sell ginger ale and mineral water as early
as 1915. However earlier versions wore a wide variety of colors.
Coca Cola's Santa is the one the finally set the record
straight, and since then Santa has been wearing nothing but Red
and White.


About Today's Guest Writer: 
Lewis Payton writes trivia questions for www.247trivia.com
the best online trivia games site in the Internet - Join for free.
 

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