Happy Birthday, St. Nicholas

By Aleksa Petrov - http://www.belygorod.ru/img2/Ikona/Used/302ALEX1.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11315660

St. Nicholas, the man on whom the legend of Santa Claus was based, was born in Turkey on March 15, 270 AD.

Legend has it that Nicholas was born into riches but chose to spread the love by giving away the wealth he inherited after his parents passed.

The tale unfolds when Nicholas hears of a struggling farmer with three marriage-aged daughters who had no money for dowries.

Since he didn’t want to embarrass the family by helping them publicly, Nicholas secretly delivered a bag of gold coins through the window while the family slept. After discovering the coins, the father arranged a marriage for the first daughter.

Nicholas repeated this kind gesture for the farmer’s second daughter, who was soon given in marriage.

The farmer, determined to discover the identity of his mysterious benefactor, caught Nicholas in the act when he was leaving coins for the third daughter. Nicholas made him swear to keep the secret safe.

The name Santa Claus evolved from Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas, Sint Nikolaas.