Why Is Santa Claus Father Christmas Suit Costume Red?

The common image of Santa is of wearing a red suit with fluffy white edges around the cuffs and at the bottom of his hat and wearing black boots. He has a long white beard and appears cuddly, rather than fat.

Coca Cola Christmas Advert

Santa Claus Red Suit
This image was popularised by the Coca Cola company during one of the advertising campaigns by artist Haddon Sundblom in the 1930s. Though earlier Christmas Cards had pictured Santa wearing a red costume.

These early Christmas cards of the 19th Century were black and white until colour printing was invented in the 1860s. Each year Harpers magazine was famous for their pictures of Santa each year. Thomas Nast, their illustrator, was asked to think of a colour for Santa Claus' costume for the first colour image of Santa Claus. Thomas Nast first chose brown furs because he thought this colour would keep Father Christmas warm. However the editors thought that the brown colour did not show off his colours enough so he chose the brighter colour of red.

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The colour red is worn by Bishops and Saint Nicholas, who Father Christmas is said to be, was a Bishop.

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