A Visit from St. Nicholas, more commonly known as The Night Before Christmas and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837. It is largely responsible for some of the conceptions of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today, especially in North America.
Whilst the poem sets the arrival of Saint Nicholas on the evening before Christmas, most Western European countries observe Saint Nicholas Day on the 6th of December. This is in honour of Saint Nicholas of Myra (traditionally 15 March 270 – 6 December 343), an early Christian bishop of Greek descent from the maritime city of Myra in Asia Minor. Nicholas had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him.
According to one source, in medieval times nuns used the night of 6 December to deposit baskets of food and clothes anonymously at the doorsteps of the needy. His legendary habit of gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus from the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas.
Today, we have asked Accredited Lecturer Simon Whitehouse to give us a reading of this classic poem to celebrate the Feast of Saint Nicholas.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Our Societies support hundreds of local arts and heritage projects. Each day we highlight a grant given in 2021.
The Arts Society Cardiff are supporting Radnor Primary School to buy a set of glockenspiels which will enable each child in a class to have access to a musical instrument for both group practice and individual improvisation.
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I love this poem, beautifully read by Simon.
Thank you Simon, for reading so beautifully. I listened to you with my grandsons. We all enjoyed it ; and at the end we agreed that the ‘magic’ of Christmas was brought to us this year by Simon and The Arts’ Society!
What fun! Beautifully read with a St Nick twinkle thank you. Listened twice before facing the summer’s day in Canberra but could almost be in the northern hemisphere with my eyes shut. 🎄🎄🎄
What a lovely reading of such an evocative poem, the descriptions paint a wonderful magic. Thank you
Delightful. Looking forward to putting one shoe out on the windowsill for small treats and opening presents on Christmas Eve with family in Iceland.
How lovely, Simon.
I quite welled up.
Thank you so much.
Oh my goodness, I’m a little girl again. Thank you for the memory.
Simon has such a wonderful speaking voice - he really brought this poem to life. Thank you.
Thank you see much - beautifully read.