Kw-logo-smaller

Saint Nicholas Day

Dec 01, 2014

Before there was Santa Claus, there was Saint Nicholas, known traditionally as the “bearer of gifts”. On December 6th many Europeans still celebrate Saint Nicholas Day, and many Christmas traditions were originally a part of this holiday. To find out more about Saint Nicholas Day, read on!

Who is Saint Nicholas?

We may think of Saint Nick, Father Christmas or Santa Claus as being a mythical person, but Saint Nicholas was a real 4th Century Greek Saint who was admired for being kind and helping those in need.  He was renowned for secretly giving gifts and placing coins in the shoes of the needy. In one story Saint Nicholas helped a man who had three daughters who couldn’t marry by throwing bags of money in their house when they came of age, but being very modest he did it in the night so the man would thank God instead. He is the patron saint of children, unmarried girls, and sailors.

Saint NicholasA mosaic of Saint Nicholas from Turkey
 

Where in the World?

The tradition of Saint Nicholas Day is still observed all across Europe, from France to Bulgaria. Each country has its own legends of the saint, and some have different ways of celebrating. Europeans aren’t the only ones who get to have a big feast for the “bearer of gifts”; even in North America cities that have large populations of German descent celebrate the day.

Saint NicholasIn Holland special "St. Nick" shoes are made for gifts
 

Traditions

Many traditions from Saint Nicholas Day may seem familiar to Christmas celebrations. Here are a few!

  • Children receive gifts in their shoes, like coins and apples (this is where the Christmas stocking comes from!)
  • There is a large meal with family and friends to celebrate
  • In some families dad will dress up as Saint Nick on the eve before the special day (in the folklore Saint Nicholas would arrive with his companion Black Peter, who dealt with bad children while St. Nick rewarded the good!)

Have Your Say

What do you think of Saint Nicholas Day? Does your family celebrate, and how? Let us know in the Comments section below!

 

8 Comments

latest videos

F1133466334750

Fave Thing About the Holidays?

  • All the tasty food.
  • Presents!
  • Seeing my friends and family.
  • I don't like the holidays.

related stories

Micro_gift micro
‘Tis the season to be jolly. Put a smile on your girl’s face with these awesome holiday gifts.
Micro_micro-snowglobe
The holidays are here! Now is the time to get presents for the ones you love. Not all presents ha...
Micro_gifts micro
Show your boyfriend you care this holiday with one of these great gifts!
Micro_glee micro
Celebrate the holidays with the Glee cast in Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, Vol. 2. Read K...

Random in the forums

rock278
rock278 posted in Electronics:
I haven't got the choice to update..
reply 13 minutes
astucieuse331
astucieuse331 posted in Debating:
I'm sorry, but there's one thing I want to ask you, do you think it's right for a 1 year old to have a boyfriend? I'm sure most of us would say no. This is certainly similar for people younger than 16, 17 or 18, to have a boyfriend. There is truly a correct age based on the way you find yourself to be mature enough, usually 16-18 years old.  Based on when I was young, though, I had a bunch of friends who had boyfriends when we were in Gr 3. Surprising? Well, not really. It's usually just a minor romantic interest and eventually, you'll move on from your boyfriend because of boredom or old variety. Suffice to say, it's wrong to have a boyfriend at a young age, such as ten because most of us, at that age, were still immature enough to handle the responsibility of having the opposite gender as a romantic interest. This is my perspective, if you cannot handle it, don't ask for it.
reply 30 minutes
Kirsteeeeen
I upgraded from 7. I really enjoy the start menu. The look and feel is nice. I like the apps available. Photos is a lot like Apple's iPhoto. I'm not too keen on it, but I'm glad the option to browse files is still readily there, and photos can be opened with other programs instead. Mail is mail. I prefer the more standard layout of my iCloud mail though. The multiple desktops, microsoft account login, notifications, and readily available search bar are great features. Microsoft Edge needs more help than internet explorer did. I've had to end a lot of tasks because it seems to run more in the background, but that's fine.  Overall it's been worth the upgrade.
reply about 2 hours
Margeknows
just dont listen to bullies block them from your page
reply about 2 hours
pinkgem179
pinkgem179 posted in General:
brain
reply about 3 hours

play online games