Santa Claus

Santa Claus – Also known as Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, or Saint Nick. A popular myth asserts that Santa Claus was originally a shaman among reindeer herders and ate fly agaric mushrooms (redandwhite spotted fungi that are somewhat hallucinogenic after careful treatment) to enable him to journey. Andy Letcher has traced the recent origins of this story and demonstrated that it arose no later than the screening of Miracle on 34th Street (1947) in which Santa Claus wore the red and white colors of the Coca-Cola brand rather than those of the mushroom.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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