5 Intriguing Facts About the Santa Hat

Have you ever wondered how the Santa hat came to be, or why it is in the shape it’s in? Everyone has seen the iconic hat more than once in their lifetimes and perhaps even worn it. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about the iconic fashion piece.

The Santa hat, called a Pileus hat, was popular in ancient Greece during the fifth century BC. Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus wearing a pileus hat in 1863, which is the image that influenced many modern depictions of Santa. And Coca-Cola popularized the red Santa Hat that we know today.

The Santa hat is probably one of the most familiar hats worldwide. However, there are a few facts that people might find surprising, such as that coca-cola did not invent Santa Claus, so let’s take a look at five intriguing facts about the Santa hat. 

The Santa Hat Is Called the Pileus Hat

Thousands of people refer to the iconic red hat as the Santa hat. However, that’s not the hat’s real name, as it is really a pileus hat. 

The pileus hat was popular in Ancient Greece, Pannonia, Eturia, and other nearby regions, and looks similar to the modern-day Santa hat. It is a brimless hat that people normally made from felt. 

The Santa Hat Was Once a Military Helmet

Whenever we spot a Santa hat, we usually feel some sort of warmth or festiveness because of what it symbolizes. However, the pileus hat was not always for such happy occasions. During the fifth century BC, the pileus hat was a common infantry helmet that soldiers would wear. 

Thomas Nast Drew Santa Claus Wearing a Pileus Hat in 1863

One of the first modern drawings of Santa Claus dates back to 1863. While there had been many depictions of the fictitious man, this was a special illustration. Thomas Nast’s visual representation of Santa Claus in 1863 became the inspiration for many modern depictions of Claus’s costume.

Nast drawing of Santa
“Merry Old Santa Claus” by US Department of State is marked with CC PDM 1.0

Coca-Cola Popularized the Red Santa Hat

Many people believe that the Coca-Cola Company invented Santa Claus. Even though this is not true, it is fair to say that the company played a major role in the modern costume we see Santa wearing today.

Coca-cola followed in Thomas Nast’s footsteps, drawing inspiration from his depiction of Santa, who illustrated and consequently popularized the red Santa hat we see today.

The Santa Hat Was Once a Pointy Bishop Hat

Throughout history, there have been many different versions of Santa, but one version stands out from the rest. The dutch were another ethnic group that celebrated the holidays with Santa, and in their version, Santa wore a tall, red bishop’s hat, or what you would also call a miter hat. 


The Santa hat’s real name is the pileus hat, which was popular in the fifth century. Infantry soldiers would often wear the hat as a helmet.

In 1863, Thomas Nast was one of the first illustrators to draw Santa wearing a pileus hat. From there, Coca-cola took the reins and popularized the modern red costume we see today, including the bright red hat.
If you feel festive after reading this article, check out the Bosoner Christmas Hat, Santa Hat, Xmas Holiday Hat for Adults.

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