Everybody knows about Santa Claus but do you know where the myth originated? It’s okay, most of us don’t. But we can fix that lack in your life with this article that seems appropriate since it is Christmas Eve today.
The current day of the week we know as Thursday was originally called “Thor’s Day.” Actually, we can trace the origins of all of the days of the week to ancient mythology. Here is a quick breakdown:
Monday=Moonday (the day of the moon)
Tuesday=Tiw’s Day (a Germanic God of War and the Sky)
Wednesday=Woden’s Day or Odin’s Day (Thor’s father)
Friday=Freya’s Day (Norse Goddess of fertility and love)
Saturday=Saturn’s Day (Roman God of Agriculture)
Sunday=Sunday (the day of the Sun)
Okay, let’s look at some parallels to both of these mythical figures.
Santa and Thor both bellowed “Ho-Ho-Ho!”
The early church identified Thor as a pagan god and as an antagonist of Christ. He was also associated with the devil, who uttered the same phrase as is shown below.
“In these plays, the devil’s common entry line,
known as the “devil’s bluster,” was “Ho! Ho! Ho!”
Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men:
The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas.
Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997, p. 69)
“Ho, ho, ho! the devil, the devil!
A-comes, a-comes, a-comes upon me…”
A Select Collection of Old English Plays,
Vol. VI. The Project Gutenberg Ebook.
They both are associated with fire. Santa comes down the chimney. Thor’s element is fire and his associated color is red.
Both have long, white beards.
Both fly through the sky, Santa in his sleigh and Thor in his chariot.
Both the sleigh and chariot are pulled by animals with unusual names. For Santa, it’s seven reindeer named: “Dasher, Donder, Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Prancer, Dancer and Vixen.” For Thor, it’s two white goats named: “Tooth-Gnasher & Tooth-Cracker.” On Gnasher, on Cracker! **Most “god-men” rode a white creature of some sort. That’s why Jesus rides the “white horse” in Revelations. It’s just a symbol of pure, virgin, consciousness or your Higher Self**
And to top it off, the following reference:
“Thor was the god of the peasants
and the common people. He was represented
as an elderly man, jovial and friendly,
of heavy build, with a long white beard.
His element was the fire, his color red.
The rumble and roar of thunder were said
to be caused by the rolling of his chariot,
for he alone among the gods never rode on
horseback but drove in a chariot drawn by
two white goats called Cracker and Gnasher.
He was said to live in the ‘Northland’
where he had his palace among icebergs.
The fireplace in every home was especially
sacred to him, and he was said to come down
through the chimney into his element, the fire.”
– -Francis X. Weiser,
Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs
(New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1958)
The early church plagiarized this myth and associated it with “Saint” Nicholas, as his history wasn’t even written until centuries after his death and are widely believed by scholars to contain much elaboration and exaggeration.
John 8:32 (KJV)
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
2 thoughts on “The Parallels of the Myths of Thor & Santa Claus”
Thor is known in Dutch as Donar, hence in Dutch we say donderdag (not capitalized) That said, this is interesting stuff.
Thank you for contributing, Peter! I really enjoy sharing different ideas and interpretations of these ancient myths.