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Odin And Santa: The Norse God Delivered Gifts With An Eight-Legged, Flying Horse


Santa Claus as we know it today is a fusion of myths, legends and folktales from many different cultures from the German folktales of Bishop Saint Nicholas of Turkey and Sinterklaas. You know all those people, but you might be surprised to learn that the Norse god Odin and Santa are also very similar.


Christmas draw from the Scandinavian Joule festival

Before Christianity, Scandinavians celebrated a 12-day winter holiday called Jule, from which we get the modern word "Yule". Many Jule celebrations—such as wreaths made of evergreen branches, singing carols, decorating pine trees, lighting Yule logs, and hanging mistletoe sprigs in doors—were adopted by Christians to make Christmas more appetizing to newly converted heretics. Can you ,


Odin, Secret

Thanks to modern-day rewritings of Viking stories, many people view Odin as a slender, crooked, spear-carrying god of war who in exchange for wisdom gave one of his eyes and his Walked around with a crow sitting on his shoulder. That detail couldn't detract from the cheerful old elf that ties our fireplaces every year, right?

Maybe not. The modern image of Santa is based on a drawing by cartoonist Thomas Nast in the mid-1800s, which was based on descriptions in Clarence Clement Moore's 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas", commonly known as "Twas the Night Before". is referred to as. Christmas." Earlier, Santa Claus was described as a tall, slender old man with a long, white beard, wearing a fur coat and wide-brimmed hat, one of Odin's favorite disguises. Matches one's description. (As a god, Odin naturally had the ability to change his appearance, and he did not like to mingle with humans.)


Elves and a North Pole Workshop

Everyone knows that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, where his workshop is headquartered. Year-round, their elves work hard to make the gifts that Santa brings to all the kids who have made it to their "nice" list. Well, according to Norse mythology, Odin also had hardworking elves known as "Odin's Men", who gave Odin small gifts to distribute. The construction did not take place at the North Pole, but many parts of Scandinavia are located above the Arctic Circle. Odin himself is said to have lived in a frozen world to the north called Asgard, where he often encountered icy giants.


Flying reindeer ... or was it a horse?

Thanks to "The Night Before Christmas," we know that Santa flies into the sky in a magical sleigh pulled by eight flying reindeer. Similarly, Odin flies in the sky on an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir. In most stories, Odin sat on horseback, but in many other Norse myths, common animals with the unusual ability to drive a sleigh or chariot drawn to gods and goddesses. Even the names of Santa's reindeer, as given by the Moors, evoke Odin. "Donner" and "Blitzen" are similar to the Germanic words for "thunder" and "lightning", both commanded by Odin.

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