Santa Claus Pulls Inspiration from Odin
Pre-Christianity, Germanic people celebrated an event called Yule, which eventually provided many traditions that were absorbed into the modern concept of Christmas. During Yule, ghostly figures are said to march through the sky during what was called the Wild Hunt. Leading those figures, the Norse god Odin. Odin bore a long white beard and would ride the night sky on his gray horse, Sleipnir, providing some of the inspiration for the modern Santa Claus. Throughout Yule, Odin would visit those that celebrated with gifts.