Holiday characters are part of our specific holiday celebrations. They originate from mythology, folk stories or contemporary pop culture. Santa Claus, a Christmas holiday character, first appeared in central European folklore as the character of Saint Nicholas. He is the patron saint of children, and was said to bring gifts to well behaved children on the night of Christmas Eve. Other holiday characters are not so friendly. They include the Krampus, a horned, half-demon half-goat creature, who also appears at Christmas time, but instead punishes the children who have not been well behaved.
The holiday characters that we know today were created decades ago from different stories and legends, but have transformed into their current versions through advertising and popular culture. For example, Santa Claus also known as Kris Kringle, Sinterklaas, or Father Christmas depending where you live has existed for centuries. The modern appearance and behavior of this holiday character have been shaped by advertising.
One of the most popular holidays celebrated around the world is New Year’s Eve as it is one of the oldest holidays. Other popular holidays are Christmas which is celebrated by millions around the world, Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha celebrated by Muslims to honor the prophet Abraham. Valentine’s Day, Diwali, Chinese New Year, Easter, Basant, and Spring Bank are other very celebrated holidays around the world.
Children are often afraid of Santa Claus for a number of reasons like his appearance, noisy environment, and the expectation of behaving well. The fear of Santa Claus can also be related to the fear of clowns as they both have a fixed expression that is seen as unreliable. Meeting Santa is overwhelming as he symbolizes hope and the Christmas celebrations. Once children are over the age of 4 they typically overcome their fear.