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ST NICHOLAS DAY

Updated: Apr 4

6th December is loved especially, but not only by children. 



It is the first unmistakable sign that Christmas around the corner.

The beloved ‘little Christmas’ is the day when St Nicholas, a cheerful bearded man dressed in red and carrying a bishop’s staff and accompanied by an angel and a devil, passes through towns, villages, schools and kindergartens. He rewards children with little gifts of fruit and chocolate, while the naughty ones get nothing. Or, a piece of coal to incentivize them to take a look at themselves.

Children (but also adults who have not lost a sense of wonder) polish their boots and put them on a windowsill the night before December 6th. St Nicholas will leave a little something in the boot for them.

Where does the cute custom come from?



Nicholas was a bishop born the in 3rd century, in a province that was once a part of the Roman empire. His parents were kind and well-off, just as they were devoted supporters of early Christianity. Unfortunately, they died in a pandemic, leaving their fortune to St Nicholas who distributed it all to the poor.

Nicholas himself entered a monastery to dedicate his life to Christ. He had a great thirst for knowledge and we even studied in the famed seat of ancient wisdom – Alexandria, Egypt. This is where he became a bishop.

However, Christianity was considered a threat in Roman Empire at the time. Christians had to face persecution. Nicholas used the social status of his family to save many of them. If he had to, he bought their lives with gold.



But not even Nicholas could not escape the hunt of the Christians. He too was locked up in a prison because of his faith. The imprisonment lasted long enough for a new Roman emperor to be crowned, and this one had a different attitude to Christianity. The faith became an accepted religion of the Roman Empire, and Nicholas was released and named an archbishop.

From this time dates the legend that gave rise to the St Nicholas tradition.

There was a poverty-stricken family living in the same city as Nicholas. The father lost all his money and his three daughters had to earn a living and their dowry as prostitutes. When the story reached Nicholas, he did not hesitate to step in. Disguised by night, Nicholas left a pouch with money at the windowsill of their house. He did it again the night after that and the night after that. Each daughter receives a generous dowry and they all lived happily ever after, now knowing who their patron was.





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