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The origins of the finnish Santa Claus are actually quite different than most people believe. The finnish word for "Santa Claus" is "Joulupukki" which literally translates to The Yule Goat. In finnish mythology The Yule Goat was a man who was cursed to roam the land in goat or man-goat form and deliver presents as a punishment (cursed by who? punishment for doing what? I haven't been able to find out). Before Coca-Cola mainstreamed the jolly, fat and red Santa Claus, the traditional finnish Santa Claus-costume included a mask (usually made from straws), goat horns and sometimes an actual goat skin. You can only imagine how much easier it was to "persuade" kids to behave with a costume like that.

According to Ian Darwin Edwards, a scottish researcher, the legend of Santa Claus' Flying sleigh and reindeers originated from drug hallucinations of the inhabitants of Lapland.

According to Edwards, the people living in northern Finland (Lapland) were feeding their reindeers poisonous mushrooms and after that drank the reindeer's urine, thus getting the hallucinogenic substances into their own system. And therefore got into a state comparable to being under the effects of LSD.

In this state, they thought it possible for them to fly with their reindeers. Later in their stories, the flying sleigh appeared behind the reindeers.

Edwards also suspects, that in their hallucinogenic state, the laplanders also saw the person, we nowadays know as the Santa Claus.

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