Santa’s origins questioned by tourist chief – who says he’s from Sweden
The millions who visit Santa’s home in Finland may be going to the wrong spot…
That’s according tourism boss Christophe Risenius, who reckons he is from neighbouring Sweden.
Every year tourists flock to Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland where there are two Santa theme parks, bringing in £350million annually.
But Christophe claims the gift bringer is from his home town of Bjokliden, in Swedish Lapland.
He said: “The origin of Santa Claus is in Sweden, not Finland.”
“We think we have the perfect spot to have a Santa Claus experience that is genuine, in the sense that it is matching the fantasy all the children of the world have of Christmas.
“We want to do the real Christmas, not like in Rovaniemi, where it’s more of a mass product.”
His claim is based on historical evidence that Lapland, an area that today stretches across Sweden and Finland, used to be one entirely controlled Sweden from the Middle Ages right up until 1809.
Finland’s claim to Santa’s home town comes from a 1927 radio report by Finnish radio broadcaster Marcus Rautio that Santa’s workshop had been discovered in Korvatunturi on the Russian border.
While the earliest reference to him living in the North Pole is from a magazine cartoon from as 1866.
Historically, the real St Nicholas, whom the story of Santa is based on, came from Antalya in Turkey and not the frozen north of the globe.
St Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, is said to have snuck into the house of a poor, religious man and left him three bags of gold as doweries for his daughters.
He soon built up a reputation for secret gift-giving.
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