Home / Funny / Viral / Santa Is a Psychedelic Mushrooms Short Film Delves Into The History Of Shamanistic Rituals


The truly fascinating short film named, “Santa Is a Psychedelic Mushroom” was created by Matthew Salton for The New York Times and features animation by James Bascara and Ben Silberstein. The intriguing short film delves deeper into the theory that psychedelic mushrooms used in ancient shamanistic rituals of Lapland tribes which explains much of the modern mythology that surrounds Christmas, particularly the idea of Santa Claus and his flying reindeer. Many historians agree that the North American figure of Santa Claus can be traced back to a monk named Saint Nicholas of Myra. It was believed that a bearded fourth-century Greek Christian with a penchant for charitable giving known as St. Nicholas was the basis of the now know Santa. St. Nicholas was a patron saint of children, who was clothed in a big, red cape and rode around on a white horse to visit children on the name day of Saint Nicholas. It was also believed that he carried a red book in which he recorded a child’s behaviour over the past year as having been good or naughty. By the 1700s, Sinterklaas or St. Nicholas transformed into modern-day Santa in the New World.

Matthew Salton, whose animated short film, Santa Is a Psychedelic Mushroom, presents a different origin story entirely. “But maybe there’s another story worth telling this season—one about a psychedelic mushroom-eating shaman from the Arctic.” “As it turns out, the shamanic rituals of the Sami people of Lapland, a region in northern Finland known for its wintry climate and conifer forests, bear an uncanny semblance to the familiar narratives of Santa and Christmas that we have come to know."

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