Santa Claus was from Turkey?

The modern Turkish town of Demre is on the site of Myra, the birthplace of Saint Nicholas, whom the world now calls Santa Claus. If they are smart, they’ll build a huge amusement park and resort on the theme!

Turkey map showing Demre

Map of Turkey Showing Demre

A biography of the generous fourth-century saint is here.

Demre, Turkey

Demre, Turkey

Here is a video on Saint Nicholas and Demre:

8 Responses

  1. I live in Turkey and have visited this town twice over my 7 years here. The town cashes in very well on their patron Saint and with their limited infrastructure, they do their best to make sure every visiter gets the entire “experience.” I think the town and the surrounding area would be ruined if a theme park came here. In this town, like many other places historical places, one can walk around the ruins and the reconstructed sites with only a polite word from the local “security guard” to please be careful and leave it like you found it so the next person can enjoy it. I think they are smart NOT to build. In another part of the country, at the white hills of Pamukkale, they did build it up, and now the white hills and pools are all closed to tourists because they got damaged by too many tourists.

    • I agree with your comment, MRDHS. No theme park, please!

  2. Agree with above (MRDHS). Not all “developments” are smart or beneficial to the local environs. Often “touristy” spots just seems to denigrate the integrity of the location, just a means to squeeze the cash cow.

  3. I heard a story on the radio here in Germany a few days ago which said that it was not until the time of Martin Luther that gifts were given to children at Christmas time.
    Prior to that they were only given on Dec. 6th ST. Nicholas Day. Martin was not very fond of the Catholic custom of venerating Saints however and he used his influence to switch the day of giving gifts to children to Chritmas Day. Which in many families has now drifted to Christmas Eve.

  4. @ Curt

    In Italy gifts were (and to some extent still are) given on Epiphany Eve (Jan 5/6) by the Befana – the Old Woman, the Witch.

  5. Yes, Dec. 5 is St. Nicholas Day–the baby Jesus is the gift-giver at Christmas, at least in Austria. What I want to know about is the origin of St. Nicholas’ counterpart, the one who leaves coal in your shoes while Nicholas leaves candies and small toys. His name is Krampus. Where did he come from?

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