To start off the fun we are going to begin with Christmas in NY! Many Christmas traditions have actually started in NYC but have come from all over the world. As NYC is the home to so many immigrants, various traditions were adopted and have become our own.
Let’s talk Santa Claus, he was depicted as a “gift giver” as early as 1773 and was brought to NYC by the Dutch. Santa was based on the Dutch legend of Sinterklaus, St Nicholas Day which was celebrated on December 6. John Pintard published a pamphlet in 1810 proposing St Nicholas be the patron saint of New York City.
In 1809, Washington Irving Americanized his name to “Santa Claus” and introduced him in his book, “History of New York”, which was his lampoon of Dutch Culture in New York.
Some of those names may sound funny to you, as Dunder and Blixem came from the old Dutch words for thunder and lightning. These were later changed to the more German sounding Donner and Blitzen which we all know today.
From the 1870’s on, the tale had become so well known across the Nation. An editorial appearing in the September 21, 1897 edition of the New York Sun “Is There a Santa Claus?” which included the famous reply Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, has become an indelible part of popular Christmas lore in the United States and Canada.
And what would Santa Claus be without the tree? From Rockefeller Center to Lincoln Center, NYC is known for it’s amazing Christmas Trees. Check back next week for a walk along the streets of NYC’s finest Christmas Tree traditions!-Share this page- Tweet