Saint Claus

This says it all. It’s his feast today. The name Claus comes from the German Klaus, meaning Nicholas.

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4 Responses to Saint Claus

  1. warwickensis says:

    Indeed, the person on the bonnet of the police car might conceivably be that of Father Christmas who has assumed that identity after spending too much time as an ancient Lapland shaman high on magic mushrooms – at least this is what an expert on Christmas traditions and customs told me on Monday.

    • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

      I warrant that’s not even true of the Joulutonttu! About whom, see the English Wikipedia article “Nisse (folklore)”. Here’s an ‘ordinary’ Tomte in a film which the Swedish Wikipedia tells me premiered 87 years ago tomorrow enacting Viktor Rydberg’s poem published in February 1881:

      That “Nisse” article also reports that “in a famous 14th century decree Saint Birgitta warns against the worship of tompta gudhi, ‘tomte gods’ (Revelationes, book VI, ch. 78)” (which makes me want to check the Latin original about that…).

    • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

      Astrid Lindgren wrote a prose adaptation to accompany Harald Wiberg’s illustrations – the first form in which I encountered it:

  2. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    I wish I knew enough about (the history of) clerical dress to know how to interpret folkloric depictions and enactments of St. Nicholas! I wonder, for instance, whether an Old Catholic bishop could have gone clad in the Netherlands like St. Nicholas as depicted by Jan Schenkman shortly before the reestablishment of the episcopal hierarchy in the Netherlands in 1853 – I suppose one in communion with the Pope could not have:

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