The original Santa Claus lived nowhere near the North Pole. If the 4th century bishop known as Saint Nicholas of Myra — the inspiration for Santa Claus — existed at all, he lived in Lycla, a province of the Byzantine Anatolla, now in Turkey. Santa Claus is a corruption of the Dutch name Sinte Klaas for St Nicholas, the patron saint of children and unmarried girls. Tradition says he gave bags of gold to three daughters from a noble, but poor family as their dowries, thus saving them from a life of prostitution. As the legends developed in the Netherlands, the three bags of gold were replaced by a bulging sack of presents which Santa Claus distributed to children on December 6, St Nicholas’ feast day. Later, this custom caught on to other parts of the world, to give gifts to good people and punish the bad.