why do they call santa st nick

Now, the VOA Special English program
Words and Their Stories. Santa Claus is someone who will remain in the hearts of children forever. He is the make-believe person who brings toys and other gifts to children at Christmas. To grown-ups, he is a special symbol of good will and selfless giving. Santa Claus also has some other names: Saint Nicholas, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Pelznickel. Two of his names -- Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas -- both come from the Dutch who settled in New York long ago. The Dutch believed Saint Nikolaas gave gifts to children. They honored this kindly saint with a yearly festival on December 6th. The English-speaking people who lived nearby greatly enjoyed Dutch festivals. And they brought the saint and the custom of giving gifts into their own celebration at Christmas time. The Dutch spoke the name Saint Nikolaas very fast. It sounded like Sinterklaas. And so, when the English said this word, it sounded like Santa Claus. West of New York, in Pennsylvania, many German farmers had also heard of Saint Nikolaas.


But they called him Pelznickel. This word came from pelz, meaning fur, and nickel for Nicholas. And so, to the Germans of Pennsylvania, Saint Nicholas or Pelznickel was a man dressed in fur who came once a year with gifts for good children. Soon, people began to feel that the love and kindness Pelznickel brought should be part of a celebration honoring the Christkindl, as the Germans called the Christ child. After a time, this became Kris Kringle. Later, Kris Kringle became another name for Santa Claus himself. Whatever he is called, he is still the same short, fat, jolly old man with a long beard, wearing a red suit with white fur. The picture of Santa Claus, as we see him, came from Thomas Nast. He was an American painter born in Bavaria. He painted pictures for Christmas poems. Someone asked him to paint a picture of Santa Claus. Nast remembered when he was a little boy in southern Germany. Every Christmas, a fat old man gave toys and cakes to the children. So, when Nast painted the picture, his Santa Claus looked like the kindly old man of his childhood.


And through the years, Nasts painting has remained as the most popular picture Of Santa Claus. Santa can be seen almost everywhere in large American cities during the Christmas season. Some stand on street corners asking for money to buy food and gifts for the needy. Others are found in stores and shopping centers. It is easy to find them by the long lines of children waiting to tell Santa what they want for Christmas. You have been listening to the VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories. Maurice Joyce was your narrator. Im Shirley Griffith. Hi, I am Harshitha from Mrs. Caplin's class. My traditions are like dancing, singing, languages, religions and more, and dancing and singing are various types of them. One thing about singing is, when we start learning to sing, we always learn songs about Hindu gods. When someone just starts learning music, there is some basic stuff to learn than only we can learn by singing songs.


There are many books of song to learn. If you finished all of those books, only you can be a music teacher. In the dancing, it is the same thing as music except you need to do some kind of step before you start the basic steps. (That is called NAMASKARAM). In my previous school, the main languages are: Tamil, Hindi, English and Sanscrit. Religions are: Christian, Hindu and Muslim, and also there are communities of Hindus and also intercommunities in communities. India has various diversity and it has a unique democratic government. In India, we don't have any rules that we should not litter in the road. So, the streets will not be clean. The women will wear traditional clothes called saree. I lived in a state called Tamil Nadu and I also talk Tamil with my family. Tamil Nadu is in the way down but it is not an Island like Sri Lanka. I don't even know that India is in the second place in the population until I read an article. We have many gods like: Ganesha, Krishna, Shiva, Balaji, Murugan, Durga Davi, Raman and more.


The great two epics in India are called: Ramayanum and Mahabharadham. There are many languages in India. The nearest state to my sate (where I live is my state) is called Kerala. Taj Mahal is one of the 7 wonders which is in Delhi and Delhi is the capital of India. Architects will make a statue of gods in India. Temple is what we call the place were the statues are worshiped. The man who sings some songs and put some flowers under the statue's (gods statue) leg is called the Priest. The Priest will put yogurt or milk on the statue. This act is called abishegam. They will wash the statues with water. Once when we worshiped, I saw my dad and grandma eating a part of the banana leaf. I also tried it and it was really funny when we eat it. Women or girls will put some designs which come from some kind of leaf. Women or girls do it for marriage or some kind of functions. Well, thanks for giving me a chance to share my traditions and I am going to learn more about my traditions.

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