Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Santa is not dead' - Norwegian newspaper apologises for Father Christmas death notice

David Kearns

Published 04/12/2015 | 19:28

Santa Claus and Mrs Claus wave to spectators during the 96rd annual Thanksgiving day parade in Philadelphia Credit: Joseph Kaczmarek (AP)
Santa Claus and Mrs Claus wave to spectators during the 96rd annual Thanksgiving day parade in Philadelphia Credit: Joseph Kaczmarek (AP)

Children can rest assured, reports of Santa’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

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One of Norway’s biggest newspapers has apologised after announcing that Father Christmas had died aged 227.

In an obituary posted online, Aftenposten reported on Thursday that “Santa had passed away after a very long and active life”.

It continued: “Our dear Father Christmas, born 12 December 1788 … died on 3 December in Nordkapp (which is Norway’s northernmost point.”

Santa 'death notice' Credit: Aftenposten
Santa 'death notice' Credit: Aftenposten

The notice added that a funeral for Santa, born on December 12, 1788, would be held on December 28 at the “Chapel of the North Pole”.

No cause of death was given.

The newspaper has since issued an apology for the death notice, saying that an “error in its internal procedures” had lead to a “fictional obituary of Santa Claus [being] published in our digital systems.”

“Aftenposten has strict guidelines for both the content and use of symbols in our obituaries. This ad is a violation of these and should never have been published,” said the newspaper’s editor Hakon Borud.

The newspaper has promised to “review its internal processes to establish what went wrong”.

The obituary, which did not appear in the paper’s print edition, has been removed from the website.

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