Upcoming christmas exhibition
HO HO HO
From Saint Nicholas to Santa Claus
6 Nov. 2021 – 13 Feb. 2022
The big, old, white-bearded man in a red coat has seen 1500 years of worship, cutesy kitsch, relentless commercialisation, and appropriation for educational purposes. He is known by different names across the globe (Santiglaus, Sinterklaas, Santa Claus, père Noël, …) and rewards good children with presents, naughty ones with the rod.
The cult of Saint Nicholas emerged from the folk legend of bishop Nicholas of Myra, who lived in the 4th century and was already venerated in medieval Europe as a patron saint of children. Eventually, Saint Nicholas emigrated to America. The image of the jolly man in a red coat spread in the 19th century, long before Coca-Cola started in 1931 to use him for annual Christmas campaigns. He returned to Europe with a big belly, reindeer, and a new name. Today, numerous traditions and modern images coexist: the faithful venerate Saint Nicholas, while the advertising industry favours Santa Claus – or Weihnachtsmann, in the German-speaking part of the world – because he makes the tills ring. It seems impossible today to even imagine the pre-Christmas season without Santa.
The exhibition shows Saint Nicholas in various shapes and hues. Some of his clothes are reminiscent of his early days as bishop of Myra; sometimes he is dressed in a green, brown or blue coat trimmed with white fur, as befits Ded Moroz in Russia. Bishop Nicholas of Myra would no doubt be surprised to see what has become of him.
Our young visitors are invited to record a poem for Saint Nicholas (or père Noël, Weihnachtsmann, Santa …) and make it a part of the exhibition. They will get a colouring and puzzle book.
the world of the Museum
A mecca for gift hunters and collectors
The Boutique at the Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel (Toy Worlds Museum Basle) offers everything that hearts young and old could desire. Here you will find a variety of gifts to satisfy every want, large or small. There are lucky finds for collectors and a range of unique and joy-bringing gifts.
Ristorante La Sosta
The Ristorante La Sosta in the Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel (Toy Worlds Museum Basle) is open daily to sate appetites great and small – with warm meals served all day. Seasonal and fresh menus, light snacks, fine sweets, enticing desserts, and cool drinks will transform every visit and break into an enjoyable experience. Outside or inside.