The World Legend from Bari, Italy
by Jun Kuzuya
(Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan)
Santa Claus, a legend originating in Bari, Italy
In our last class, we learned about Bari, Italy. So this time, I would like to share a story about it. Bari is one of the biggest trading cities in Italy and is also famous as a sightseeing city.
For example, the San Nichola shrine, Alberobello, and so on. Especially, the latter is known as a World Heritage Site. In brief, we can find that Bari is an important city in southern Italy.
By the way, do you know the existence of the "patron saint"?
"The patron saint" is the traditional Christian faith that one saint protects a particular place, group of people, and so on. About places, people worship him or her. In Bari, people worship Saint Nicholas as the patron saint.
By the way, for Japanese the patron saint is Francisco de Xavier. I didn't know that, so it's amazing!
But I found an even more amazing fact! Saint Nicholas (Bari's patron saint) is seen as the origin of the Santa Claus legend!! According to one version of history, it seems that Nicholas gave his money to a poor girl. He did so by putting money in a sock and throwing it down the chimney of her house! Can you believe this tradition?
So, we can say that the world legend of Santa Claus is from Bari, Italy. It's very interesting and an incredible story, I think!!
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