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-Saint Nick’s Hometown is in Turkey Not the North Pole

by Dr. D ~ December 22nd, 2010

Santa Claus sculpture at square in front of th...

                                             (Image via Wikipedia)

The real hometown of Saint Nicholas rarely even sees any snow at all and it’s a long way from the North Pole. It’s actually in the country of Turkey and the town is called Demre today.

Not only that, but most folks in the town are Muslims who do not even celebrate Christmas. However they do celebrate the money that can be made selling icons of Saint Nicholas or trinkets of "Noel Baba," or ‘Father Christmas’ as many call him there.

The legend of Saint Nicholas grew out of a real character who lived in the 4th century when the town was called Myra  and gave gifts to others. He was a Christian bishop who was also famous for spreading Christianity and tearing down the pagan temples in the area. The legendary man’s call to fame and most enduring legacy revolves around giving gifts to those who are in need.

Hundreds of thousands foreign tourists still visit the Church of Saint Nicholas in Demre every year and the residents are quite happy with the boost it gives to their local economy:

"We are so happy with Saint Nicholas. After lots of centuries we are earning money thanks to Saint Nicholas."

The town features a bronze statue of Saint Nicholas holding hands with two smiling children in the central town square. Plus his image graces the town’s official logo.

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