Did the Entire Story of Santa Claus Come From Siberian Priests Getting People to Trip on Shrooms?
This might not be a good Christmas story to share with your kids, but it could explain A LOT about Santa Claus and his flying reindeer. It's possible that the entire story of Santa comes from people tripping on shrooms.
John Rush is an anthropologist at Sierra College in California. His theory on the origin of the Santa story comes from priests in the Arctic and Siberian region dropping hallucinogenic mushrooms into people's teepees in late December up until the 1700s. "Until a few hundred years ago, these shamans or priests would collect the mushrooms, dry them, and then give them as gifts. Because snow is usually blocking the doors, there was an opening in the roof, thus the chimney story."
That also helps explain the flying reindeer. There are a ton of reindeer in Siberia. They don't fly, but if everyone's tripping on shrooms, it's a lot easier to hallucinate and think they're flying.
Rush says those traditions were merged with or projected onto Saint Nicholas. Most of the rest of the modern Santa Claus story comes from "Twas the Night Before Christmas", which was published in 1823.