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Saint Nicholas Day

Dec 01, 2015

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

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rainbowpoptart
rainbowpoptart posted in General:
Tired, awfully tired. I've been awake for about 16 hours running off 4 or 5 hours of sleep for the second day in a row, heh.  "Shadeleaf" wrote:Sad, Angry, and in a mood  to kill stuff.... Well that's no good. ):  I hope you feel better soon.
reply 20 minutes
Shadeleaf
Shadeleaf posted in General:
Sad, Angry, and in a mood  to kill stuff....
reply 40 minutes
Pink_Cool_Girl
Pink_Cool_Girl posted in General:
Lyrics:All I need is a little love in my lifeAll I need is a little love in the darkA little but I'm hoping it might kick startMe and my broken heartI need a little loving tonightHold me so I'm not falling apartA little but I'm hoping it might kick startMe and my broken heartYeahShotgun, aimed at my heart, you got oneTear me apart in this songHow do we call this loveI tried, to run away but your eyesTell me to stay oh whyWhy do we call this loveIt seems like we've been losing controlSo bad it don't mean I'm not aloneWhen I sayAll I need is a little love in my lifeAll I need is a little love in the darkA little but I'm hoping it might kick startMe and my broken heartI need a little loving tonightHold me so I'm not falling apartA little but I'm hoping it might kick startMe and my broken heartMaybe some part of you just hates meYou pick me up and play meHow do we call this loveOne time tell me you need me tonightTo make it easy, you lieAnd say it's all for loveIt seems like we've been losing controlSo bad it don't mean I'm not aloneWhen I sayAll I need is a little love in my lifeAll I need is a little love in the darkA little but I'm hoping it might kick startMe and my broken heartI need a little loving tonightHold me so I'm not falling apartA little but I'm hoping it might kick startMe and my broken heartMe and my broken heartMe and my brokenYeah, yeah, yeahIt's just meIt's just meIt's just meMe and my broken heartAll I need is a little love in my lifeAll I need is a little love in the darkA little but I'm hoping it might kick startMe and my broken heartI need a little loving tonightHold me so I'm not falling apartA little but I'm hoping it might kick startMe and my broken heart
reply 43 minutes
Pink_Cool_Girl
Pink_Cool_Girl posted in General:
We ain't even at 100,000. We need more POSTS. Fine. You left me no choice.  Google Play Music Lyrics [Adam Levine:]My heart's a stereoIt beats for you, so listen closeHear my thoughts in every no-o-o-teMake me your radioAnd turn me up when you feel lowThis melody was meant for youJust sing along to my stereo [Travie McCoy:]Gym Class Heroes baby!If I was just another dusty record on the shelfWould you #### ## off and play me like everybody else?If I asked you to scratch my back, could you manage that?Like yea [scratched], check it Travie, I can handle thatFurthermore, I apologize for any skipping tracksIt's just the last girl that played me left a couple cracksI used to used to used to, now I'm over that'Cause holding grudges over love is ancient artifacts If I could only find a note to make you understandI'd sing it softly in your ear and grab you by the handJust keep it stuck inside your head, like your favorite tuneAnd know my heart's a stereo that only plays for you [Chorus:]My heart's a stereoIt beats for you, so listen closeHear my thoughts in every no-o-o-teMake me your radioAnd turn me up when you feel lowThis melody was meant for youJust sing along to my stereo Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh to my stereoOh oh oh oh to sing along to my stereo [Travie McCoy:]Let's go!If I was an old-school fifty pound boombox (remember them?)Would you hold me on your shoulder wherever you walkWould you turn my volume up in front of the cops (turn it up)And crank it higher everytime they told you to stopAnd all I ask is that you don't get mad at meWhen you have to purchase mad D batteriesAppreciate every mixtape your friends makeYou never know we come and go like on the interstate I think I finally found a note to make you understandIf you can hit it, sing along and take me by the handJust keep me stuck inside your head, like your favorite tuneYou know my heart's a stereo that only plays for you [Chorus:]My heart's a stereoIt beats for you, so listen closeHear my thoughts in every no-o-o-teMake me your radioTurn me up when you feel lowThis melody was meant for youJust sing along to my stereo Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh to my stereoOh oh oh oh to sing along to my stereo [Bridge:]I only pray you'll never leave me behind (never leave me)Because good music can be so hard to find (so hard to find)I take your hand and hold it closer to mineThought love was dead, but now you're changing my mind [Chorus:]My heart's a stereoIt beats for you, so listen closeHear my thoughts in every no-o-o-teMake me your radioTurn me up when you feel lowThis melody was meant for youJust sing along to my stereo Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh to my stereoOh oh oh oh (Gym Class Heroes baby!) to sing along to my stereo Yeah
reply about 1 hour
rainbowpoptart
rainbowpoptart posted in General:
"malia101" wrote:I will never understand how this thread keeps on getting revived. Destiny. The universe wants this forum to eventually reach a million pages.
reply about 2 hours