Medieval Origins of Santa Claus: St. Nicholas

In many parts of Europe, before Christmas comes, you have first to celebrate one of the medieval period's favourite saints - Saint Nicholas of Myra. It's his legend and celebration that eventually transformed into our own Santa Claus. St Nicolas’s commemoration was a great excuse for medieval people to let down their hair and celebrate while still in the much more sombre and reflective period of Advent.

In this episode of Gone Medieval, Dr. Eleanor Janega is joined by experiential archaeologist Caroline Nickolay. They discuss how St. Nicholas’ life has been embellished and commemorated from the late antique period until today and how a relatively unremarkable bishop managed to give birth to the party event of the festive season.

This episode was edited by Joseph Knight and produced by Rob Weinberg.

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