Numerous parallels have been drawn between Santa Claus and the figure of Odin, a major god amongst the Germanic peoples prior to their Christianization. Since many of these elements are unrelated to Christianity, there are theories regarding the pagan origins of various customs of the holiday stemming from areas where the Germanic peoples were Christianized and retained elements of their indigenous traditions, surviving in various forms into modern depictions of Santa Claus.
Odin was sometimes recorded, at the native Germanic holiday of Yule, which was celebrated at the same time of year as Christmas now is, as leading a great hunting party through the sky. Two books from Iceland, the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, describe Odin as riding an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir that could leap great distances, giving rise to comparisons to Santa Claus's reindeer. Further, Odin was referred to by many names in Skaldic poetry, some of which describe his appearance or functions. These include Síðgrani, Síðskeggr, Langbarðr, (all meaning "long beard") and Jólnir ("Yule figure").
According to some traditions, children would place their boots, filled with carrots, straw, or sugar, near the chimney for Odin's flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin Wiki
Yule, the winter solstice holiday, can still be seen in many of our modern Christmas practices today. But we are interested in one such tradition, the "face" of this time of year. Odin was the harbinger of the spirit of Yule, one of his names is Jölnir (Yule bringer) as Santa Claus is for children on Christmas Eve.
There are many similarities between these characteristic figures. Their "look" may be one of the most glaring. Both Odin and Saint Nicholas are known for their beards, the Norse god even has many names in reference to his facial hair. Each wears a hat and carries a spear/staff, which has become iconic of both. They have servants who carry bags to catch up naughty children. Both Odin and Saint Nicholas are known for riding white horses which fly through the air (although Sleipnir, Odin's mount is more commonly depicted as grey).
Now, as some may know Odin was the god of wisdom, magic, poetry, prophesy, war, battle and victory. He is said to have created the very runes the Norse used for writing. The Zwarte Pieten give children letters made out of candy which is reminiscent of Odin's runes. As god of arts and poetry, he'd likely appreciate the children singing songs and making poems during Saint Nicholas' celebration.
Also, according to Phyllis Siefker, children would place their boots which were filled with carrots, straw or sugar near the chimney for Sleipnir to eat. Odin showed his appreciation for this simple act by replacing his horse’s food with gifts or candy.
We can see some of Odin's influence in today's Santa as well. As some may know, during Yule Odin leads the Wild Hunt. According to the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, he flies through the sky with the help of his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir who could leap great distances. Does this not bring childhood memories of Santa flying through the sky with his eight reindeer? AncientWorlds.net
There are many similarities between Christmas and the pagan winter feast as you as you see, my conclusion to all these snip’s is the same as I put out in the beginning of the thread. Santa is a rip off caricature of the Viking god Odin and Christmas is the remnants of an old pagan tradition. If you still don’t believe me after reading these similarities or you still don’t believe the Viking gods and pagan gods of Scandinavia was the same I suggest you do some field-research and share your findings.
Conclusion: Santa still is a myth, but of other origin than most people acknowledge. He is not the fat slug that only works one day a year like modern day portray him, but the one-eyed pagan raven god of war Odin – the allfather.
Norse Mythology part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4
Poetic Edda (wiki)
Prose Edda (wiki)
Wild Hunt (wiki)
edit on 6-12-2012 by Mimir because: (no reason given)