St. Nicholas Day and it's Story ... by bruni

St. Nicholas Day and it's Story ...

...which goes something like this. taken from the internet.

Each year on the evening of December 5th, German children (I used to be one of them) polish one of their boots or shoes and leave it out before they go to sleep.( we put our shoe on the windowsill as we lived on the third floor).
They then drift off in the hope that St Nikolaus will visit during the night. If he does, the children awake on Nikolaustag to find their boot filled with sweets, treats and presents from the man himself. If you were naughty, you would find a piece of coal.

Ok, the shoes might not literally be outside, but you get the idea.

But what does Nikolaus of Myra have to do with children getting presents?

Nicholas of Myra was loved for his generosity, and support of those in need. His wealthy parents died when he was young, and Nikolaus used his inheritance to help the poor, sick and suffering.

Now the patron saint of little children, sailors and merchants, Nikolaus was known for giving gifts secretly.

In one famous story, he left bags of gold in the home of three young women whose father couldn't afford their dowries.

And children leave out boots because...?

According to the story, the girls had left their stockings and shoes in front of the fire to dry – and when Nikolaus tossed the bags of gold through an open window, this was where they landed.

Nikolaus became known as a gift-giver, and today's children still put out shoes in the hope that he will ride by on his donkey or horse and fill the shoe with sweets, fruit, toys and money.

For every child?

Nah, only the good ones. For the rest... well, it differs between families.

In some cases, St Nikolaus leaves a switch of wood for parents to spank naughty children with - while in other areas, "Nikolaus" visits homes and schools with his alter-ego Knecht Ruprecht to question kids about their behaviour.

Admit to being naughty and you're in for a few stern words - or even a pretend spanking.

Is Nikolaus a bit like Santa, then?

Ah. See, there are many Germans who would actually get quite angry with you for confusing these two.

Santa is known as the Weihnachtsmann in Germany, and visits children on December 24th.

Celebrating Nikolaustag in early December, many Christian families hope to keep the focus of Christmas itself on Jesus's birth. - rather than a commercialised Santa.

But what's the difference between Santa and Nikolaus?

Well, apart from the fact that they are both depicted as old men with white beards and red coats... they haven't got a lot in common.

It was Dutch emigrants who brought the tradition of Sinterklaas to America in the 17th Century - and Sinterklaas returned to Europa as Santa.

*** Hans had to go to a neighbor to borrow a kid's shoe as we have none to take a picture of. Hans took some treats along for a little girl and her older brother by a few years.
cute photo and nice story
December 6th, 2020  
Lovely shot and splendid detailed narrative, brought back many happy memories of festive times in Germany.
December 6th, 2020  
I did this when we lived in France back in the early 60s. Great memory of a fine Christmas tradition.
December 6th, 2020  
A wonderful story and tradition with up to the moment illustration wuth the pink slipper full of goodies !
December 6th, 2020  
So nice to tell this story. In my area, we celebrate in a similar manner.
I also learned that in Austria, there is another character who accompanies St Nikolaus: Krampus. The Saint is said to deal with good children and Krampus with the naughty ones.
December 6th, 2020  
cute shot and great story of St. Nicholas Day.
December 6th, 2020  
December 6th, 2020  
I love your narrative, Bruni. Happy memories...
December 6th, 2020  
Interesting shot and story.
December 6th, 2020  
December 6th, 2020  
What a great story!
December 7th, 2020  
What a great holiday tradition.
December 7th, 2020  
Lovely shot and great narrative. The kids could never sleep they were so excited :-)
December 7th, 2020  
You told the story beautifully! I remember the 5th of December when I was a little girl, my father always asked me to help him getting coal from the cellar or took me for a little ride Sinterklaas spotting. When we returned my mother told me we just missed Sinterklaas but he left some presents. The few times I met the man himself I was very awed. When I met (as an adult) Sinterklaas the awe remained depending on the person who played the character. Last year we had Sinterklaas at my workplace and the clients loved that.
December 7th, 2020  
LOVE IT!! wat leuk he :)
December 7th, 2020  
You are going to need a bigger shoe!!! Love this!!
December 7th, 2020  
wonderful narrative and capture
December 7th, 2020  
Fantastic shot and explanation.
In Spain we seem to have mixed things up a bit - in fact Santa's name is Spanish is Saint Nicholas. And Spanish children get some presents from him, but the main "present-givers" are the three wise men, who visit the houses on the night of January 5th. Kids also leave out the shoes for them to fill with presents, and they still leave coal for naughty kids.
December 7th, 2020  
A lovely tradition and great narrative
December 7th, 2020  
Leave a Comment
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.