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Santa’s got a brand new bag

China Daily Asia | Updated: 2018-12-12 10:29
[Photo provided to China Daily]

Plump, rosy-cheeked and carrying a sack full of goodies – here comes Jolly Old Saint Nick

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way… As the familiar song rings throughout every public space once again, it's obvious that Christmas is coming. Can you still remember what gift you wanted most from Santa Claus when you were a kid? The man who brings happiness and warmth is often depicted in a red suit with fluffy, white beard and a big bag full of presents. However, the jolly old fellow hasn't always appeared the way we envision him today.

It is said that Santa's clothes were initially green in the early 17th century, as the colour was thought to have the power to defeat the cold. Setting the stage for the modern-day depiction, in the 1860s, cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly, the famed American political magazine based in New York City, as part of a larger illustration whose title was "A Christmas Furlough". In his work, Santa Claus was drawn complete with reindeer, a sleigh and many more of the iconic associations today. However, for a long time, the well-known red suit was not the default version. In the 1864 edition of American writer Clement Clarke Moore's poem "A Visit from St Nicholas" (also known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"), Santa Claus was depicted in yellow.

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