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  • On the 24th of December every year children around the world put out milk and cookies in the hopes of luring a magic fat man into their home who will leave presents behind before sneaking into the house next door.

    每年的十二月二十四日,世界各地的孩子都會拿出牛奶及餅乾,希望能吸引一名會施展魔法的胖子來到他們家,並在前往下一戶人家之前留下禮物。

  • How did such an odd tradition begin?

    這種特殊的傳統是如何開始的呢?

  • You can pretty much blame Northern Europe, where the winter weather is cold and dark and depressing.

    你幾乎可以說都是北歐的關係,在這裡冬天的氣候又冷、又暗、令人消沈提不起勁。

  • And the coldest and darkest and depressingest day is the Solstice on December 21st or 22nd when the sun only gives a few weak hours of light if any at all.

    而最冷、最暗、最令人消沈的一天是十二月二十一日到二十二日的冬至,這時即便有陽光,也只會帶來幾個小時的微弱光明。

  • These sun-deprived people invented magical characters to visit them and lighten the mood by bringing gifts and celebrations.

    這些缺乏日光照耀的人們創造出神祕的角色拜訪他們,帶來禮物及慶典,放鬆他們的情緒。

  • These characters ranged from elves to Gods to goats, but there are two of particular interest to the modern story.

    這些角色的範圍從精靈、神靈到山羊都有,但其中有兩個,對現代故事來說有特別的趣味性。

  • The first is St. Nick, in the Netherlands. St. Nick is thin and perhaps a bit stern, but still brings presents to children early in December.

    第一個是荷蘭的Saint Nick。Saint Nick很瘦,看起來有點苛刻,但他會在十二月初帶禮物給孩子們。

  • He dresses like a bishop in red and white with a staff and rides on a horse named Amerigo, for whom Dutch children are encouraged to leave out a carrot. St. Nick is called Sinterklaas in Dutch.

    他穿著像主教一樣的紅白衣服,拿著權仗並騎著一匹名為Amerigo的馬,荷蘭的孩子們會被鼓勵上前去,餵牠一支紅蘿蔔。Saint Nick的荷蘭文叫做Sinterklaas。

  • The second character is Father Christmas from England. Father Christmas is a big, jolly pagan dressed in green with a holly wreath on his head.

    第二個角色是從英國來的Father Christmas。Father Christmas是個身材魁梧、快樂的異教徒,穿著綠色衣服,頭戴冬青花環。

  • Traditionally he is less concerned with children and gifts than he is with food and wine and celebration and is perhaps best known for being one of the three spirits of Christmas who terrorize Scrooge.

    傳統上,他跟孩子們及禮物的關係,還不及於他和食物、美酒和慶典的關係,而且也許他最出名的身分可能是三個聖誕節精靈之中, 會恐嚇Scrooge(吝嗇鬼、故事主角)的那一個。

  • When Europeans settled the Colonies, St. Nick and Father Christmas and the other characters began to mix together.

    當歐洲人安頓好殖民地後,Saint Nick、Father Christmas的形象開始和其他角色融合、重疊。

  • This explains why the US version has so many names.

    這解釋了為什麼美國的版本有這麼多名字。

  • Santa Claus is the Americanization of Sinterklaas, but he's also called St. Nick and Father Christmas and Kris Kringle which comes from Germany.

    聖誕老人是經美國化的Sinterklaas,但他同樣也被稱為Saint Nick、Father Christmas,還有從德國來的Kris Kringle。

  • In the old world these were different characters, but in the new world over time they evolved into one, which you can see happening in older stories.

    在舊世界(歐亞非大陸)這些是不同的角色,但在新世界(美洲大陸),他們隨著時間合而為一,你可以在較古老的故事中看到這個過程。

  • For example, the poem, "The Night Before Christmas" came out in 1823 in New York which established that Santa lands on the roof and fills stocking with toys.

    舉例來說,〈聖誕節前夕〉這首詩是在1823年的紐約誕生的,它記載了聖誕老人會降落在屋頂上,並將襪子塞滿玩具。

  • But this Santa is an elf, much like those from the Nordic Countries.

    但這個聖誕老人是個精靈,比較像北歐故事中提到的那些。

  • He's small and drives a miniature sleigh with tiny reindeerwhich makes a lot more sense for someone whose job description includes fitting down chimneys.

    他身材短小,駕著小型雪橇和迷你馴鹿,同樣的,這對於一個工作內容包括鑽進煙囪的人來說合理多了。

  • Also, the word, "Santa" appears nowhere in the poem. The original title is "A visit from St. Nick."

    「Santa」這個字在詩裡任何地方都沒有出現。原本的題目是「Saint Nick的探訪」。

  • As the 1800s continued, a fat, human looking immortal Santa evolved into the standard among American authors.

    隨著十九世紀過去,一個胖胖的、人類模樣、永遠不會老的聖誕老人發展成了美國作家間的標準。

  • It was in the states that he gained both his elvish workforce and a wife.

    他的精靈工人以及妻子也是在美國誕生的(被加入角色設定中)。

  • By about 1900 Santa had developed his current iconic style.

    在大約西元1900年時,聖誕老人發展成了現今的經典形象。

  • It should be noted that, contrary to popular belief, Coca-Cola didn't change his colors to their corporate scheme.

    值得一提的是,與普遍的認知相反,可口可樂並沒有將聖誕老人的顏色改成他們的公司商標。

  • But instead used the conveniently red-and-white Santa in 1931 to help sell more soda during their off season.

    而是在1931年時順勢使用紅白色的聖誕老人形象,幫助他們在淡季時賣出更多可樂。

  • Though Coke didn't create him, their omni-present ads probably did brand this as the One True Santa in the minds of millions helping spread him round the world to many cultures with no traditions of winter gift-givers.

    雖然可口可樂並沒有創造出聖誕老人,但他們無所不在的廣告可能讓觀眾將這形象作為「唯一真正的聖誕老人」,銘刻在數百萬人的心中,讓世界上許多沒有冬季送禮傳統的人們也認識了他。

  • This American Santa in-turn influenced his relations in Northern Europe to become more like him, although not always to the pleasure of the locals.

    這個美國版聖誕老人反過來影響了他在北歐的親戚們,讓他們的形象更趨近他,雖然當地人並非總是對此感到開心。

  • In particular, the British Father Christmas has been completely assimilated into the Santa collective to the point where many Britons don't realize they were ever separate.

    特別是英國的Father Christmas已完全被聖誕老人系列給同化,以致於到了許多英國人並沒有意識到他們曾經是不同的地步。

  • In the Netherlands, however, St. Nick is still successfully holding his own as a distinct character.

    然而,在荷蘭,Saint Nick還是成功地堅持住自己與眾不同的特色。

  • The one last detail about modern Santa that's still up for debate, at least between countries, is where exactly he lives.

    有關現代聖誕老人的最後一個細節是仍有爭議的,至少是在國家之間仍有爭議,就是他到底住在哪裡。

  • In the late 1800s his home was the magnetic north pole centered under the aurora borealis.

    在十九世紀晚期,他的家在磁北極,在極光底下。

  • While this would be the most diplomatic option for Santa, Magnetic North has since moved off the Polar Ice Sheet and into the Ocean, a rather inconvenient place to set up a toy factory.

    儘管對聖誕老人來說,這是最得體的選擇,但此後磁北極離開了極地冰原,進入海洋之中,一個比較不方便設立玩具工廠的地方。

  • So Canada claims his workshop is somewhere in Nunavut and has given Santa a post code andno jokeofficial Canadian citizenship.

    所以加拿大聲稱他的工作坊是在Nunavut某處,並提供聖誕老人一個郵遞區號,還有,不是在開玩笑,正式的加拿大公民身分。

  • The American response is that the North Pole doesn't refer to the obviously inhospitable sheet of non-domestic ice but rather to the little town of North Pole, Alaska.

    美方的回應是,北極指的並不是明顯荒涼、不適宜居住的冰層,而是阿拉斯加的North Pole鎮。

  • Denmark claims he lives in their former colony of Greenland. And Greenland, not surprisingly, agrees.

    丹麥聲稱他住在他們的前殖民地格陵蘭。而格陵蘭,不意外的,也同意這說法。

  • The Nordic countries quarrel about his exact location, but Finland is the clear winner of this argument with his workshop in Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle.

    北歐國家爭論他確切的所在地,但芬蘭這關於他的工作坊在北極圈的Rovaniemi市的說法,在這場爭執中顯然是個贏家。

  • For the evidence inclined, you can actually go visit Santa there and see the elves, toys, reindeer and post office, which makes Finland's claim pretty strong.

    為尋找有力證據,你可以實際上過去拜訪聖誕老人,並看看精靈、玩具、馴鹿和郵局,這些使得芬蘭的聲明相當有力。

  • Santa is even available during the off season.

    甚至在不是聖誕節的時候也能看到聖誕老人。

  • But, no matter where he might be based, Santa still manages to get around the world in just one night to deliver all those presents...and eat all those cookies.

    但不管他可能以何處為基地,聖誕老人仍設法在僅僅一個晚上環遊世界遞送所有禮物...還要吃掉所有孩子們給他的餅乾。

On the 24th of December every year children around the world put out milk and cookies in the hopes of luring a magic fat man into their home who will leave presents behind before sneaking into the house next door.

每年的十二月二十四日,世界各地的孩子都會拿出牛奶及餅乾,希望能吸引一名會施展魔法的胖子來到他們家,並在前往下一戶人家之前留下禮物。

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四分鐘帶你揭開聖誕老公公身世小故事! (A Brief History of Santa)

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