December 6 marks the feast day of Saint Nicholas Day, and for the me the beginning of the Christmas season. It is a common practice for both children and grownups, to put out their shoes the night before St. Nicholas. With enthusiasm and curiosity, in the morning, we discover the gifts which Nicholas had left to us.
Widely celebrated in Europe and not only, St. Nicholas’ feast day, December 6th, kept alive the stories of St. Nicholas goodness and generosity.
In Germany and Poland, boys dressed as bishops begged alms for the poor—and sometimes for themselves! In the Netherlands and Belgium, St. Nicholas arrived on a steamship from Spain to ride a white horse on his gift-giving rounds. December 6th is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much of Europe.
In the Netherlands St. Nicholas is celebrated on the 5th, the eve of the day, by sharing candies (thrown in the door), chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles. In Romania, St. Nicholas is bringing a lot of sweets to the children which behaved well during the year, and a small stick to the ones less good. Dutch children leave carrots and hay in their shoes for the saint’s horse, hoping St. Nicholas will exchange them for small gifts.
Did you prepared your shoes? Do you celebrate St. Nicholas in your country? Tell us what traditions and how you celebrate this full of happiness day?