orphans. In Hungary and Croatia he is often accompanied by the Krampusz, the frightening helper who is out to take away the bad ones. In Serbia, and among the Serb people living across the world, Saint Nicholas is the most widely celebrated family patron saint, celebrated as the feast day (Slava) of Nikoljdan. The ruins of a former parish church are still visible and have recently undergone restoration. This is often done by placing a bag filled with presents outside the house or living room, after which a neighbor or parent bangs on the door or window, pretending to be Sinterklaas' assistant. Historically, Ruprecht was a dark and sinister figure wearing a tattered robe with a big sack on his back in which, as a legend says, he would put all naughty children. Nicholas’ companions are usually ominous looking, rough, dark characters. In Germany, December 6th is St. Nikolaus’ Day, an important date for the children of Germany and many European nations. On the evening of December 5th, children not only place a boot or shoes outside their bedroom doors, but they also have to clean them first, hoping that St. Nicholas … In the provinces of Trieste, Udine, Belluno, Bari (Terlizzi and Molfetta), South Tyrol, Trentino and in the eastern part of the Province of Treviso, St. Nicholas (San Niccolò) is celebrated with gifts given to children on the morning of 6 December and with a fair called Fiera di San Niccolò[14] during the first weeks of December. Fasting refers in this context to the eating of a restricted diet for reasons of religion. Among Albanians, Saint Nicholas is known as Shen'Kollë and is venerated by most Catholic families, even those from villages that are devoted to other saints. Sometimes a Nikolaus impersonator also visits the children at school or in their homes and asks them if they have been good (sometimes ostensibly checking his golden book for their record), handing out presents on the basis of their behavior. His companion goes by many names, depending on the region. What is St. Nikolaus Day?? In Slovenia, Saint Nikolaus (Miklavž) is accompanied by an angel and a devil (parkelj) corresponding to the Austrian Krampus. [3] In Ukraine and Poland, children wait for St. Nicholas to come and to put a present under their pillows provided that the children were good during the year. Guests will greet each other, saying, "Nata e Shen'Kollit ju nihmoftë!" The evil butcher has followed St. Nicolas in penance ever since as Père Fouettard. That’s because it’s the day that children wake up to see what they have received from Saint Nikolaus. This has become more lenient in recent decades, and this task is often taken over by the Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas). Through St. Nicolas' help the boys were revived and returned to their families, earning him a reputation as protector of children. In Slovenia, Miklavž (Sveti Miklavž) and in Croatia, Nikolaus (Sveti Nikola) who visits on Saint Nicholas day (Nikolinje in Croatia and "Miklavževanje" in Slovenia) brings gifts to children commending them for their good behavior over the past year and exhorting them to continue in the same manner in the year to come. In Germany Santa Claus isn’t coming Christmas eve he is coming on December 6th.. In schools, children learn songs and poems and create arts and crafts about St. Nicolas, while in nursery schools, a man portraying St. Nicolas gives away chocolates and sometimes little presents. Ideally, it needs to be a boot, but any old shoe will do. Recently, there has been a recurrent discussion about the perceived politically incorrect nature of Zwarte Piet. The most important thing is that it has to be freshly-cleaned and polished. St. Nicholas is the protector of sailors, he is considered the patron saint of the Greek Navy, military and merchant alike, and his day is marked by festivities aboard all ships and boats, at sea and in port. On the eve of his feast day, Albanians will light a candle and abstain from meat, preparing a feast of roasted lamb and pork, to be served to guests after midnight. The Christmas gift-bringer is not Samichlaus, but the Christchindli. In the days leading up to 5 or 6 December (starting when Saint Nicholas has arrived by steamboat around mid-November), young children put their shoes in front of the chimneys and sing Sinterklaas songs. Another option is to hire or ask someone to dress up as Sinterklaas and deliver the presents personally. St. Barbara’s Day In France, statues and paintings often portray this event, showing the saint with children in a barrel. The Germans celebrate St. Nicholas Day by giving kids some sweets pack in a Christmas bag or sack. The German St Nicholas Tradition. Some European cities such as Bari, Italy recognize St. Nicholas as the patron saint and celebrate with different activities such as gift-giving, parades, feasts and festivals. During this holiday, St. Nikolaus visits towns to … In one city (Guimarães) in Portugal, St. Nicholas (São Nicolau) has been celebrated since the Middle Ages as the patron saint of high-school students, in the so-called Nicolinas, a group of festivities that occur from 29 November to 7 December each year. [10], On the Frisian islands (Waddeneilanden), the Sinterklaas feast has developed independently into traditions very different from the one on the mainland.[11]. When evening comes, St. Nicholas, a reverend gray-haired figure with flowing beard, wearing gorgeous bishop’s garments, gold embroidered cope, mitre and pastoral staff, knocks on doors and inquires about the behavior of the children. Each little one gets a gift for his performance. Kids would be tested for their behavior, and asked to recite poems or sing a song. Children still receive apples and nuts from St. Nicholas. December 6th is a very special day for children all over Germany. St. Nicholas is referred to by many names throughout Europe such as Sinterklaas in the Netherlands or Nikolausin Germany. St. Andreas’ Day Krampus is thought to punish children during the Yule season who had misbehaved, and to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair. Knecht Ruprecht sometimes carried a long staff and a bag of ashes, and wore little bells on his clothes. Cold and hungry, a wicked butcher lured them into his shop where he killed them and salted them away in a large tub. A little donkey carries baskets filled with children's gifts, biscuits and sweets. What is St. Nikolaus Day?? This is the favorite holiday of all children – it’s a gift-giving day. Stadtkirche St Nikolaus, Bad Reichenhall: See 18 reviews, articles, and 35 photos of Stadtkirche St Nikolaus, ranked No.8 on Tripadvisor among 13 attractions in Bad Reichenhall. Some of the traditions and rituals of Christmas, such as leaving out a shoe or stocking to be filled, are similar to the traditions of Saint Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas (San Nicola) is the patron of the city of Bari, where it is believed he is buried. The creature has roots in Germanic folklore; however, its influence has spread far beyond German borders, in Austria, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, northern Friuli, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Croatia. Another tradition kept for this day is baking Stutenkerl, or Printenmann. Americans who celebrate Saint Nicholas Day generally also celebrate Christmas Day (December 25) as a separate holiday. On Saint Nicholas Day, gifts are tagged with personal humorous rhymes written by the sender. St. Nicholas Day, or Eve, is celebrated on December 6. Depending on the cultural background, in some families this celebration is more important than Christmas. He has a long beard, and loves children, except when they have been naughty. In the Netherlands, the primary occasion for gift-giving is 5 December, when his feast day is celebrated. Dekker, Roodenburg & Rooijakkers (redd. November 20, 2020 If you wake up the morning of Dec. 6 to find a full bag of candy or presents waiting for you, it’s likely you received a visit from St. Nicholas. Even though Saint Nicolas is a Christmas traditional figure across all the French territory, the important celebrations on 6 december are limited to Alsace,[12] the French Low Countries,[12] the French Ardennes,[12] Franche-Comté,[12] the Argonne and Lorraine, where he is patron. Bulgarians also observe 6 December as the name day for those with the names Nikola, Nikolay, Kolyo, Nikolina, Neno, Nenka, Nikoleta and Nina.[8]. Instead, in Val Canale (Udine) Saint Nicholas comes to chase the krampuses: after a parade of krampuses running after people, Saint Nicholas comes on a chariot and give gifts to children (Video "San Nicolò caccia i Krampus a Tarvisio" 6.12.2010). In the European countries of Germany and Poland, boys have traditionally dressed as bishops and begged alms for the poor. In particular on 8 May the relics of the saint are carried on a boat on the sea in front of the city with many boats following (Festa a mare). However, the gift giving associated with these descendant figures is associated with Christmas Day rather than Saint Nicholas Day itself. The story of St. Nicholas, the bishop of Myra in Minor Asia, who died on December 6th, 343, dates back to the 4th century. The next morning they find a small present in their shoes, ranging from sweets to marbles or some other small toy. Read the story with your children (see Resources for book recommendations) English synopses There are many legends about the real St. Nikolaus, especially those highlighting his generosity towards others and his humility. In particular Dutch citizens with an Afro background or African roots might feel offended by the Dutch slavery history connected to this emblem and regard the representation of Zwarte Piet as racist. St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts and sweets overnight, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good, polite and helpful the last year. The most famous tradition on St. Nicholas Day is that little kids put their polished shoes or socks outside the door or window, and at night St. Nicholas fills them with little gifts. Others state that the black skin color of Zwarte Piet originates in his profession as a chimney sweep, hence the delivery of packages through the chimney. “Nikolaustag,” or St. Nicholas Day, is celebrated in Germany Dec. 6. The rise of Father Christmas (known in Dutch as de Kerstman) is often cited as an example of globalization and Americanisation. Often they put a carrot or some hay in their shoes, as a gift to St. Nicholas' horse. ("May the Night of Saint Nicholas help you!") Saint Nicholas Day, also called the Feast of Saint Nicholas, is observed on 6 December or on 5 December in Western Christian countries, and on 19 December in Eastern Christian countries using the old church Calendar. German Christmas Traditions - Saint Nicholas Day Saint Nicholas (Nikolaus), Santa Claus (Weihnachtsmann) and the Christ child (Christkind)... they all bring gifts to children (and adults), either on Nikolaustag (6th December) or on Heiligabend (24th December). St. Nicholas also appears together with St. Peter, with an angel, the Christchild (Christkindl). Nicholas also appears together with St. Peter, with an angel, the Christchild (Christkindl). [12] This day can be celebrated in some villages of other regions. The child would get a gift for doing well. It is also associated with the preceding feasts of St. Barbara (4 December), St. Savvas (5 December), and the following feast of St. Anne (9 December); all these are often collectively called the " Nikolobárbara", and are considered a succession of days that heralds the onset of truly wintry cold weather in the country. The Nikolaustag is celebrated for Nikolaus of Myra, one of the most popular saints of the Christian … It is the feast day of Nicholas of Myra with particular regard to his reputation as a bringer of gifts. [CDATA[ (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); // ]]> St Nicholas Making his Rounds- creative commons photo by-Gamsjaga. Nikolaus In some countries, such as the US, Nikolaus became Santa Claus, who delivers the presents on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christ’s birthday. To prepare for the visit, children would tidy their rooms and clean their toys. In Poland Mikołaj is often also accompanied by an angel (anděl / anjel / anioł / anhel) who acts as a counterweight to the ominous devil or Knecht Ruprecht (czart). He is sometimes accompanied by an actor playing Père Fouettard, who, like his German counterpart Krampus, carries switches to threaten the children who fear he will advise St. Nicolas to pass them by on his gift-giving rounds. That today is St. Nikolaus Tag in Germany? Some kids even left a bit of hay or straw for St. Nikolas’s Donkey) Children still wake to find, candies, gold coins, and even small treats on December 6th. If they fail to do so they will receive a visit from "Parkelj" or Krampus who traditionally leaves a rod, an instrument their parents will use to discipline them. "), indicating the importance of this saint in Albanian culture, especially among the Albanians of Malësia. Christmas Stories In Germany, St. Nikolaus and his partner, Knecht Ruprecht, would visit homes on the evening of the 5th, and ask whether Children were behaving. In Belgium, they celebrate Sinterklaasfeest (Dutch-speaking) or la Saint-Nicolas (French-speaking) on the morning of 6 December. This entails the complete avoidance of animal-sourced food products (meat, milk, dairy products, and eggs). ("May I see Holy Saint Nicholas! Yikes! As the gift-giving function of St. Nikolaus began to shift to the splendor of the candle-lit Christmas tree and emphasis on the birth of Christ, Knecht Ruprecht became the servant and companion of the Christchild. The bones of Albania's greatest hero, George Kastrioti, were also interred in the Church of Saint Nicholas in Lezha, Albania, upon his death.[7]. He is said to appear in the company of Knecht Ruprecht, “Knecht” meaning “servant”. St. Nicholas Day is on the 6th of Dec. in Germany. Both the North American Santa Claus and the British Father Christmas are legendary figures whose attributes derive from the myths surrounding St. Nicholas. It is best to bake the cake in a special baking form shaped like the saint, or just a man. The whole family gets ready for the saint's arrival on 6 December, with grandparents telling stories of the saint. St Nikolaus would be dressed in white robes, and carrying a book (to double check behavior) and his Bishop’s Staff. In Czechia and Slovakia children receive some candies for their good deeds from st. Nicholas (Mikuláš) and potatoes or coal from Krampus (čert) for their sins. St. Nicholas Center: Who is Saint Nicholas? In Northern Germany, Sankt Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. Sinterklaas wears a bishop's robes including a red cape and mitre and is assisted by many mischievous helpers, called 'Zwarte Pieten' ("Black Petes") or "Père Fouettard" in the French-speaking part of Belgium, with black faces and colourful Moorish dress, dating back two centuries. 2 likes. (Video Krampuslauf Lienz 2010) Related articles: Albanian Catholics often swear by Saint Nicholas, saying "Pasha Shejnti Shen'Kollin!" In practice, just as with Santa Claus, all children receive gifts without distinction. There are many names for Krampus, as well as many regional variations in portrayal and celebration. Nicholas Day or Nikolaus sometimes also spelled Nikolas is the Patron Saint of Children and on December 6th children throughout Germany wake up to find small gifts and goodies in their shoes. [4] In the United States, one custom associated with Saint Nicholas Day is children leaving their shoes in the foyer on Saint Nicholas Eve in hope that Saint Nicholas will place some coins on the soles. "Santa Claus" is itself derived in part from the Dutch Sinterklaas, the saint's name in that language. 5–6 December]) and puts presents under the pillow. Dec 16, 2013 - Did you Know…. Fasting refers in this context to the eating of a restricted diet (no animal products or dairy products etc. Often being compared to Santa Claus, this ritual of St. Nicholas is celebrated every year as a worldly … St. Nicholas Day on December 6 celebrates of course carries some connection to Christmas and Santa Clause, but there is much more to this holiday and St. Nicholas than that. In Hungary, Croatia, Ukraine and Romania, children typically leave their boots on the windowsill on the evening of 5 December. Dressed like a bishop in a white garment, Nicholas usually arrives with a companion. Albanian Catholics often swear by Sa… St. Nicholas Day is a popular occasion for children in many parts of Europe because children usually receive gifts on this day. St. Nicholas Day, or Eve, is celebrated on December 6. For the naughty children Mykolay brings a rod (Rizka) so parents can use it to discipline them. Knecht Ruprect is a more sinister figure, who carried a sack and a switch. Dec 24, 2020 St. Nicholas (also spelled Nikolas and Nikolaus) is the Patron Saint of Children, and his Feast day is celebrated on December 6 th.The German By next morning Nikolaus (Szent Miklós traditionally but more commonly known as Mikulás in Hungary or Moş Nicolae (Sfântul Nicolae) in Romania) and in Ukraine Svyatyy Mykolay leaves candy and gifts if they have been good, or a rod (Hungarian: virgács, Romanian: nuieluşǎ) if they have been bad (most children end up getting small gifts, but also a small rod). Nikolaus in Germany. 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