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The History of Christmas Parades

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus right down Broadway and 2nd Streeeeet! 

Christmas Parades, also known as Santa Claus Parades (or in our case, Festival of light) are the official opening of the Christmas Season. Lights, dancing, candy, floats, and bands playing Christmas music that fills the chilly air. But why did Christmas parades start? 

 

First things first, we have to address the elephant in the room – Santa Claus. Santa Claus  – also known as Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle is a character that is mainly associated with a jolly man in red who delivers toys to good girls and boys. However his story stretches back all the way to the third century, when Saint Nicholas became the patron saint of Children. It is said that he gave away all his inherited wealth and traveled along the countryside helping the poor and sick. St. Nicholas’ reputation quickly spread around the world, and made its first appearance in American popular culture towards the end of the 18th century. A man by the name of Sinter Klaas hand carved and distributed wood carvings of St. Nicholas at the New York Historical Society annual meeting. And thus the image and character of Santa Claus was widely recognized and spread.

 

Now as we enter the Christmas season Santa Claus is the poster character for all things jolly and bright – such as Christmas Parades! Christmas Parades are widely known and put on in the United States. The Christmas Parade is a direct descendant of late Medieval and Renaissance revivals of Roman Triumphs filled with loud music, dancing, banners and ended with the leader riding in a chariot pulled by two horses. 

 

Children of today now wait in anticipation for Santa Claus to ride through the streets on the last float to sound off his loud joyful laugh and reminding children to be good because:

 

“He’s making a list

And checking it twice;

Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice

Santa Claus is coming to town

 

He sees you when you’re sleeping

He knows when you’re awake

He knows if you’ve been bad or good

So be good for goodness sake!”

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