December 06, 2008

St. Nicholas Day.

Today is Saint Nicholas day.
St. Nicholas, or Agios Nikolaos, was a Turkish saint and bishop. He had a reputation for secret gift giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and is now commonly identified with Santa Claus.
However, when I was growing up in Eastern Europe, St Nicholas day was celebrated independently of Christmas on the 6th of December. Gifts would have been delivered by Mikuláš, as St Nicholas was called in Slavic. He would be dressed as a bishop and would walk the street in company of an angel and a devil like creature.
This celebration is still very pronounced in central Europe and even though not celebrated in Scandinavia, I always think of presents comes the 6th of December.


Diane said...

Today is my older brother's birthday (he's the one I like :)... I never knew it was St. Nicholas Day, too... I'll have to tell him... of course, then he might expect a present... hmmmm...

Hilary said...

And in that spirit, here we are, gifted by your informative blog post. Thanks! May you find many coins in your shoe.. just not while walking. ;)

Hazel Designs said...

Happy St. Nicholas Day! What does one do for this day? Is this the holiday where you leave your shoes outside?

BTW - I LOVE your fireplace!

Michelle H. said...

I have heard of St. Nicholas day although I was never sure how it was celebrated. Thanks for the info on that!

Zuzana said...

Diane, how fun your brother was born on the 6th! My brother in law has his “name day” on this day. In a way he should be giving you presents, considering he might be St Nicholas.;)

Hilary, you always leave the kindest, most sincere comments.;) I wish I would find coins in my shoes.:))

Thank you Hazel.:) It is a holiday in parts of Europe when kids receive presents, either brought to them by St Nicholas or left by him in the shoes over night.;) To bad I am not a kid anymore.:))
Thank you for complimenting my fireplace, I love it too.;))

Michelle, you are very welcome, glad I can provide new information to such a smart lady.;)