How Old Is Santa?

old-santa Credit: Keith Allison/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Santa’s age is unknown. Based on historical documents mentioning him, Santa has been around since about 280 A.D., which would make him more than 1,700 years old.

Santa is based on a monk named St. Nicholas who lived in what is Turkey as of 2014. According to legend, St. Nicholas was a kind man who gave away the money he inherited to help the poor and sick. He became the most popular saint in Europe with a feast day celebrated on the anniversary of his death, Dec. 6. The legend of St. Nicholas came to the United States in 1773 when Dutch families gathered to celebrate his feast day.