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Santa Claus's Reindeers

In traditional Christmas legend, reindeers pull Santa’s sleigh through the night sky to help him deliver gifts to children on Christmas Eve. The commonly cited names of the eight fictional reindeer are:

Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dancer, Dasher, Donner, Prancer, and Vixen.

These are based on those used in Clement Clarke Moore’s 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (commonly called "The Night Before Christmas"). This poem is the basis of the reindeers' popularity.

The popularity of the 1949 festive song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" has led to Rudolph often joining the list, bringing the number of Father Christmas's reindeers up to nine.

A Visit from St. Nicholas

The 1823 poem by Clement C. Moore "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (also known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas") is mainly credited for the contemporary Christmas legend that includes eight named reindeer. The relevant two verses of the poem reads:

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
with a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer, and Vixen!
"On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Dunder and Blixem!

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