Correct! Washington Irving reimagined St. Nicholas in 1809 - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Correct! Washington Irving reimagined St. Nicholas in 1809


Provided by WorldNow

The man venerated as St. Nicholas by both the Roman and Orthodox Catholic churches served as the Bishop of Myra, in what now is Turkey, in the 4th Century. Stories passed down through history tell of a man who was generous to the poor with a deserved reputation as a protector of children.

In Europe -- especially in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland -- the anniversary of his death, Dec. 6, is widely observed, although it is not generally considered part of the Christmas celebration. On Dec. 5, St. Nicholas Eve, gifts are sometimes left for children -- and fruit and nuts are placed on window sills or in wooden shoes as a gift for the saint.

In America, the story is different -- thanks to Washington Irving. The traditions of St. Nicholas Day probably came across the Atlantic with Dutch and German immigrants. But in 1809, Irving published his satirical Knickerbocker's History of New York, and he reimagined St. Nicholas as a pipe-smoking Dutch immigrant with an elfish demeanor. Americanized legends of St. Nicholas grew from Irving's stories and eventually morphed through the poetry of Clement Clarke Moore and the drawings of Thomas Nast into the American version of Santa Claus.

You can learn more about St. Nicholas and Santa Claus from the St. Nicholas Center.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
3514 State St. Erie, PA 16508
Newsroom: (814)454-8812
Toll Free: 1(800)454-8812
Business offices: (814)454-5201
Share Stories
Submit your stories to our site!
Share Photos
Share your photos in our community galleries
Mobile Site
Be sure to stay constantly updated with the power of WICU12 and WSEE at your fingertips
Free Android App
Free iPhone App
Free iPad App
Storm Tracker App
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WICU. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
                   WICU/WSEE - 3514 State Street Erie, PA 16508 - (814) 454-5201 -