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2020-21 season's lectures

Oct 20
Julian Halsby
* morning lecture

Please note - the details for this season have not yet been finalised

Unless otherwise stated, all lectures are in the Cultural Centre, calle Granada, Nerja and start at 6pm.

Lecture date: December 15th 2020(6:00 pm in the Cultural Centre, Nerja)

Santa Claus: the art that turns him from St Nicholas to Father Christmas

Christopher Bradley

Nicholas was an important 4th century Greek bishop at the city of Myra in southern Anatolia. During a lifetime of beneficial deeds, he is said to have saved the lives of three virgins by offering gifts that secures their release. The sea traders of Myra elevated their kindly bishop into the patron saint of sailors, but the rise of Italian power in the region led to his body being stolen from his grave in Myra. The sailors of Bari and Venice hoped that his fame (and body parts) would protect their own busy ports and dangerous journeys. The seafaring Dutch then adopt Nicholas as their maritime saint and take this idea across to their new territories in North America, where his image changes constantly until he is transformed from St Nicholas to Sinterklaas, finally becoming Santa Claus. This white bearded, red coated jovial gift-giver is brought back across the Atlantic to Britain, where his myth merges with the earlier pagan Father Christmas.

Recommended reading: ‘Santa – a Life’ by Jeremy Seal (Picador 2006) ‘The Basilica of St Nicholas’ by Gerado Cioffari (Levante 2009)