This is a common question many children and adults alike wonder around the Christmas season. Though Santa Claus is a magical, fictional character, many are curious if he has a final resting place like ordinary people. The short answer is no – since Santa isn’t real, he doesn’t have an actual grave. However, there are a few places in the world that claim to be Santa’s gravesite, usually constructed as memorials or for the amusement of visitors.
The Origins of Santa Claus
To understand why Santa doesn’t have a real grave, it’s important to first look at his origins. Santa Claus is based on Saint Nicholas, who was a 4th century Christian bishop known for his generosity and gift-giving. Over the centuries, his legend evolved and combined with folklore like Britain’s Father Christmas. By the 19th century, his modern incarnation as Santa Claus emerged through works like the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (known today as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”).
So in summary:
- Santa Claus is a fictional character
- He was inspired by Saint Nicholas, not actually Saint Nicholas
- His current portrayal as a magical gift-giver developed over centuries
Since Santa is an imaginary character, he doesn’t have a real burial place. But that hasn’t stopped some creative locales from making their own Santa “graves” to entertain visitors.
Santa’s Grave in Jerusalem
An old Christian cemetery in Jerusalem contains a grave designated as Santa’s final resting place. The tombstone reads “Saint Nicholas the Real Santa Claus” and is decorated with Christmas wreaths and icons. It was created by Israeli tour guides as a lighthearted attraction for pilgrims visiting the Holy Land around Christmas.
Of course, Saint Nicholas was actually buried in Myra, Turkey after his death in 343 AD. The Jerusalem grave was simply devised within the old cemetery for fun. It continues to attract tourists who want to see Santa’s grave during the holiday season.
Santa’s Grave in Ireland
Ireland also boasts a tombstone for Santa Claus in the town of Termonfeckin. The grave claims to be the final resting place of “Kris Kringle” and is engraved with the epitaph:
“Here lies the body of Chris Cringle, died 38AD, May he rest in peace.”
Like the Jerusalem site, the Irish Santa grave was created as an amusement for tourists. In the 1970s, a local pub owner placed the tombstone in the cemetery as a joke. It has since become an iconic (though fictional) part of the town’s history.
Other Santa “Graves”
A couple other places around the world also declare themselves as Santa’s burial place. These include:
- The Greenland town of Uummannaq claims a modest, unmarked grave in the wilderness belongs to Santa.
- In the Norwegian town of Drøbak, a gravestone for Santa can be found near a bronze Santa statue.
- The Danish town of Hjørring has a stylized coffin labeled “Santa Claus” in a local park.
While fun, none of these existing graves are meant to be Santa’s real final resting place. They’re lighthearted gags for tourists who wonder what became of Mr. Claus!
Fictional Stories of Santa’s Death
A few fictional tales imagine how Santa Claus met his end and where he could have been buried:
- In the movie Santa Claus: The Movie, Santa (played by David Huddleston) dies in New York and is transported back to the North Pole to be laid to rest.
- A time travel novel titled Santa’s Grave depicts Santa dying in an Arctic shipwreck. His body ends up frozen in the ice before being discovered centuries later.
- In a dark comedy skit, Saturday Night Live envisioned Santa being accidentally blown up by the U.S. military, with his remains scattered across the globe.
These are just imaginative fiction stories – not actual historical accounts. Since Santa isn’t real, his cause of death and burial place remain a mystery!
Santa Claus is a magical character of myth and folklore – not an actual person who lived and died. While some towns have created mock gravesites for Santa to entertain visitors, he has no true burial place. The real Saint Nicholas who inspired Santa was laid to rest in Turkey centuries ago. Stories about Santa’s death and grave exist only in good fun and imagination, keeping the Christmas spirit alive.