Hotei hands out gifts to children.
Detail of print by Kuniyoshi Utagawa, 1798-1861, via Wikimedia Commons
The Seven Lucky Gods usher in good fortune in the new year in Japan. Among them, Hotei plays the most prominent role, for he is considered not just a lucky god, but also a buddha.
In Japan, children look forward to a visit from Hotei, a jolly Japanese god with a rotund frame.
Hotei, a Japanese god who carries a large sack, has come to be identified with Santa Claus – except that he brings the goodies on New Year’s Day instead of Christmas.
The author and her family with Santa in 1980.
As a migrant family, participating in this ritual made us feel and appear more Australian, if only to ourselves.
Nine of the 48 candidates for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives participate in a debate on May 12, 2022, at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.
Loren Holmes / ADN
The number of candidates running in party primaries has ballooned since 2010. That may result in extreme, inexperienced or controversial nominees who do not represent a majority of voters.
Wes Mountain/The Conversation
Two Christmas traditions – those around the birth of Jesus and Santa who brings gifts to all – contain strong elements of magic.
Yule never make sense of it.
A surge in stock markets towards year end goes against the idea of rational traders, yet it often happens.
If you picture Santa Claus as plump and jolly and pulled by reindeer, you may have this poem to thank.
Clement Clark Moore/New-York Historical Society
‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ is one of the most famous American poems. But who wrote it?
A tale of gassy reindeer and psychedelic mushrooms.
Why did she do all the work while Santa got all the glory? What would happen if she delivered the toys?
Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Many early stories praise her work ethic and devotion. But with Mrs. Claus usually hitting the North Pole’s glass ceiling, some writers started to push back.
Millions of years of natural selection have prepared reindeer for Christmas Eve.
The pagan tradition of celebrating the winter solstice with bonfires on Dec. 21 inspired the early Christian celebrations of Christmas.
Gpointstudio/ Image Source via Getty Images
Christmas was popularized in the United States during the American Civil War, when Harper’s Weekly featured the image of Santa Claus visiting the Union Army on its front page.
The Christmas we celebrate today around the world, whether in northern winter or southern summer, has its roots in many cultures and traditions.
A still from the 1946 classic ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.’
RKO Pictures/Archive Photos/Moviepix/Getty Images
Holiday movies have been an essential part of the American winter celebrations. They offer a glimpse into how the world is could be, often in sharp contrast to reality.
Nancy Bird Walton preparing to fly a female Santa into north-west New South Wales in 1935.
©Royal Far West
In Australia, between 1930 and 1950, women repeatedly stepped in to play the role of Santa. So the figure in the red suit could be gender neutral today.
An image of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis during his beatification ceremony in Assisi, Italy.
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Many saints are venerated for specific reasons, professions or even nations. There are saints who are believed to provide assistance in selling a property.
Young children are captivated by the Santa Claus myth.
Santa is the best part of Christmas for many children, but do they really believe in a magical man flying around the globe on Christmas Eve?
Imagination and play encourage children to think through hypothetical situations and create new worlds — and even to develop new possibilities for our shared world.
For many children, the anticipation of Santa’s imminent journey down the chimney to deliver gifts is nothing but magical.
Not sure if you’re paying the right price for your tree? The Hotelling equation modified by Faustmann can help.
A Protestant tradition with pagan roots, the Christmas tree is now a global phenomenon. It also reveals much about market economics, so let’s climb on the sleigh and take a ride around this holiday item…
Who made him up?
The Santa myth tells us more about adults than children.
He’s calling – but will you answer?
Russian Presidential Executive Office
The Mueller report reveals that some U.S. citizens helped Russian government agents organize real-life events, aiding Russia’s propaganda campaign. Don’t be like them.