Tuesday, January 1, 2008

St Basil vs Santa Clause


New Year's day today and it seems that everybody was celebrating the coming of new year yesterday.
January the 1st is a special dayin Greece. We celebrate St Basil's day. There seems to be a misconception about St. Basil. Everybody "takes" him for Santa Clause and that's why most Greek children get their gifts on New Year's Day instead of Christmas.

So I present you with some facts about the two Saints so that you can tell the difference:

Basil of Caesarea
For other persons named Saint Basil, see Saint Basil (disambiguation).
Saint Basil of Caesarea, also called Basil the Great (between 329 and 333 - January 1, 379) (Greek: Άγιος Βασίλειος ο Μέγας; Latin: Basilius), was the Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, and an influential 4th century Christian theologian. Theologically, Basil was a supporter of the Nicene faction of the church, in opposition to the Arians on one side and the Appollanarians on the other. His ability to balance his theological convictions with his political connections - especially with the Arian Emperor Valens - made Basil a powerful advocate for the Nicene position.
In addition to his work as a theologian, Basil was known for his care of the poor and underpriveleged. He is considered a saint by the traditions of both Eastern and Western Christianity.
Basil, Gregory Nazianzus, and Basil's brother Gregory of Nyssa are collectively referred to as the Cappadocian Fathers. The Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches have given him, together with Gregory Nazianzus and John Chrysostom, the title of the Three Great Hierarchs, while the Roman Catholic Church has named him a Doctor of the Church. He is also referred to as "the revealer of heavenly mysteries" (Ouranophantor).[1]
Basil established guidelines for monastic life which focus on community life, liturgical prayer and manual labor. Together with Saint Pachomius he is remembered as a father of communal monasticism in Eastern Christianity

Santa Claus

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or simply "Santa", is a mythical, historical and legendary figure in folklore who, in Western cultures, is described as bringing gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or on his feast day, December 6. The legend may have its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of Saint Nicholas.
The modern depiction of Santa Claus as a fat, jolly man (or elf) wearing a red coat and trousers with white cuffs and collar, and black leather belt and boots, became popular in the United States in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, and films. In the United Kingdom and Europe, his depiction is often identical to the American Santa, but he is commonly called Father Christmas.
One legend associated with Santa says that he lives in the far north, in a land of perpetual snow. The American version of Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, while Father Christmas is said to reside in Finland. Other details include: he is married and lives with Mrs. Claus; that he makes a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior; that he delivers presents, including toys, candy, and other presents to all of the good boys and girls in the world, and sometimes coal or sticks to the naughty children, in one night; and that he accomplishes this feat with the aid of magical elves who make the toys, and nine flying reindeer who pull his sleigh.
There has long been opposition to teaching children to believe in Santa Claus. Some Christians say the Santa tradition detracts from the religious origins and purpose of Christmas. Other critics feel that Santa Claus is an elaborate lie, and that it is unethical for parents to teach their children to believe in his existence. Still others oppose Santa Claus as a symbol of the commercialization of the Christmas holiday, or as an intrusion upon their own national traditions.

(source: www.wikipedia.org )

No comments: