St. Nicolas Day Celebrations

A look into the several origins of St. Nicholas Day, including numerous ways that the holiday is celebrated in the present day.

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St. Nicolas Day Celebrations

St.Nicholas celebrations.

St.Nicholas celebrations.

Breakingpit

St.Nicholas celebrations.

Breakingpit

Breakingpit

St.Nicholas celebrations.

Ana Belen Ponce Calvillo, Contributor

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St. Nicholas Day is a celebration which takes place on December 6 and originated in association with the admirable third century saint who gave away all his worldly possessions to the less fortunate. He devoted his life to helping others and was raised a Christian who served sick and suffering individuals. According to several tales, at the time, when a father did not have enough money or dowry to marry off their daughters, the saint, on separate occasions, would fill the daughter’s shoes with gold to marry while her shoes were drying by the fire at night after being washed. Due to his association with gifting presents to those in need, many people began the traditions that included gifting presents to loved ones by placing them in their shoes or stockings. However, naughty boys and girls were left twigs or a small portion of coal. It is easy to see the similarities to St. Nicholas Day and Christmas, amazingly, the original holiday is still celebrated and many of the stories inspired the modern day Santa Claus.

Interesting facts associated with St. Nicholas Day include… 

  • Saint Nicholas is buried in a tomb located in Myra, and the water surrounding the tomb is believed to possess healing powers. It is named Manna of Saint Nicholas.
  • He was born in a third century village called Patara, however, he spent most of his time in the nearby town of Myra. 
  • The Saints name, “Nicholas,” means, “People’s victory,” in Greek. 
  • Saint Nicholas was born on March 15, 270 AD and died on December 6, 343 AD.
  • In many christian traditions of the holiday, children are told to leave their shoes outside and wait for the bells of St. Nicholas to leave you sweet treats and gifts in your shoes.

 

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/st-nicholas-day-december-6/

 

Photo Credit: Getty