Five year old boy Tuddu was walking along with his parents at the G.E.L Church Marketing complex in Ranchi this evening.Outside the showroom of Bata,a man in the guise of Santa Claus stood,fanning the Christmas festivity around.
As Santa,a white-bearded man,wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots, waved his hands to greet the onlookers,Tuddu asked his father,who is this guy Pop.
His father Praveen Tirkey,who is a school teacher,replied:”He is Santa Claus”.“Who is Santa Claus”,was Tuddu’s next question.Tirkey fumbled as he did not know about him in detail.His mother Savitri Purti,a clerk of the Indian Railways,who had studied history of Christianity,intervened to answer Tuddu’s question.
She told him that Santa,known as Saint Nicholas,is a figure with legendary,mythical, historical and folkloric origins.In many western cultures,he symbolizes love,affection-a joy giver-who brings gifts to the homes of the good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24.
Clearly not satisfied with her answer,inquisitive Tuddu asked her :‘Where are the gifts Mom?His(Santa) hands are empty…” She looked the other way and walked away with Tuddu without telling him that this mythical figure with a tradition traced to the 1820s,lives at the North Pole, with a large number of magical elves, and nine (originally eight) flying reindeer.
Since the 20th century, in an idea popularized by the 1934 song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, Santa Claus has been believed to make a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior (“naughty” or “nice”) and to deliver presents, including toys, and candy to all of the well-behaved children in the world, and sometimes coal to the naughty children, on the single night of Christmas Eve.
Believe it or not Santa endeavours to accomplish this feat with the aid of the elves who make the toys in the workshop and the reindeer who pull his sleigh.