What is Saint Nicholas Day?
Saint Nicholas was the Bishop of an important ancient city called Myra, which is in Turkey. In the 4th Century, during his presence in the city, the Bishop stole the people's hearts with his kindness, generosity, and the presents he used to give away.
Saint Nicholas Day All Quick Overview
- Time/Date: 6th December 2022
- Category: Religious
- Where It’s Marked? Dutch, Belgian, German, and Polish
- Why It’s Marked? On December 6, St. Nicholas Day honors the patron saint from the third century and the kindness Nicholas displayed toward others in his community.
History of Saint Nicholas Day
Did you know that the Santa Claus you are so familiar with every Christmas is a misspelt form of Saint Nicholas’s name? Continue reading to see how the story of Saint Nicholas was popularized all over the world.
There are little to no findings about St. Nicholas as the legends are told by the people whose lives he has touched. According to those legends, he was the generous Bishop of town Myra and dedicated his life to protecting the faith and discipline of the churches of his town.
He was praised for advocating for the people who were wrongly accused. Furthermore, one of the legends depicts the nature of giving charity.
The history behind giving gifts to kids and the fiction of Santa Claus can be linked to St. Nicholas’s charity. Legends say that St. Nicholas was born into a wealthy family and his parents died young. They left all the properties and money to him, and he utilized the fund to help the neediest people.
He used to give away food to children and gold to families suffering from a terrible fate. While presenting the gifts to children, he used to do that while riding a horse and wearing red vestments on December 6. However, when he used to help any family secretly, he would drop the gold through a chimney or window.
The tales of Saint Nicholas spread through North America when Dutch people started to immigrate. Even though his legends were long forgotten through Reformation, the children remembered his adventures for the presents and told the stories to their new American friends.
They pronounced his name ‘Sinter Klass, ’ which the American kids picked as Santa Claus. And eventually, the Saint's appearance changed to the jolly Santa who drops gifts through the chimney on the eve of Christmas.
How to Celebrate Saint Nicholas Day?
Saint Nicholas Day has been celebrated across European countries similarly to other people celebrating Christmas eve with Santa.
The most common way to celebrate Saint Nicholas is to gift the children candies, fruits, and treats. According to tradition, the children write letters to St. Nicholas about what they want and leave grass and carrots for his horse along with the letter.
The following morning, they find their treats in socks, shoes, or under the bed. Therefore, to celebrate Saint Nicholas, you must tell your kids to leave wooden clogs, shoes, or plates outside your door the night before Saint Nicholas Day.
The gift ideas usually include candy, toys, cards, handmade gifts, personalized gifts, lights, or stationeries.
If you are willing to honor the spirit of Saint Nick, you can anonymously help people by handing them bags full of food or clothes at night.
The celebration of Saint Nicholas has a big part in the feasts with family and friends. Tables and special menus are prepared differently in different countries- bread, pork, pancakes, Bishop’s wine, cookies shaped like St. Nick, and fruits.
Countries that observe Saint Nicholas Day
Nicholas Day is not popular in many parts of the world as the most popular transformation of his figure is Santa Claus. However, in some parts of Europe, the Legends are still alive, so they prefer to celebrate the day, especially with their children. The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the northwestern part of Europe celebrate St. Nicholas's Day.
This annual holiday is observed particularly by followers of Catholicism, Lutheranism, Anglicanism, Reformed, Methodism, and Orthodoxy Christianity.
Interesting Facts about Saint Nicholas Day
Want to share some exciting facts about Saint Nicholas? Here they are:
- Saint Nicholas saved three men about to die because of false accusations. He risked his life and stopped the executioner from chopping the poor guy's head.
- Since he was a true believer in Jesus Christ, he had to live in prison and suffer from torture for almost seven years.
- The French nuns started presenting gifts anonymously and spread that Saint Nicholas had left them.
- St. Nicholas was also known as Boy Bishop.
- The Dominican Priest collects the Holy liquid named Manna from the bones of St. Nicholas. Priests use pure liquid to bless their followers.
- He donated money to a low-income family so that the father of the three daughters did not have to sell them for prostitution.
- The myths about him are: that he could calm a storm in the sea. Thus he saved the sailors.
- Again, he didn't hesitate to cut a tree when a demon tried to possess it to kill the monster.
Unique Saint Nicholas Day Celebration Ideas
Saint Nicholas's celebration is a joyful occasion. Here are some unique ideas to observe the day.
- Saint Nicholas Day is not only for the kids to have fun. The unmarried girls also receive blessings from St. Nick to find their spouses.
- You can make dolls and paper drawings of St. Nicholas with your kids and tell them about the day's significance.
- Your children can dress up as St. Nicholas and raise money for the poor people.
- If you have an orphanage or old home near you, you can help them to prepare food on this auspicious day.
- It is an excellent occasion to teach your naughty kid a lesson. According to the tradition in Ukraine, the kids who don't behave well receive coal instead of chocolates or treats.
Saint Nicholas Day Quotes
If you are wondering how to wish your friends on the day of Saint Nicholas, you can send any of the beautiful quotes.
“The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic God giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.”- St. Nicholas of Myra
“The truth is that our way of celebrating the Christmas season does spring from myriad cultures and sources, from St. Nicholas to Coca-Cola advertising campaigns.”- Richard Roeper
“Never deny the babies their Christmas! It is the shining seal set upon a year of happiness. Let them believe in Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Kriss Kringle, or whatever name the jolly Dutch Siant bears in your religion.”- Mary Virginia Terhune
“Everybody loves St Nicholas because St. Nicholas loves everybody.”- Fr. Andrew Phillips
“I’m as true a Protestant, in sooth, as any fine lady that walks into a church, but it’s not wrong to turn sometimes to the good St. Nicholas.”- Mary Mapes Dodge
1. What is Saint Nicholas the patron saint of?
Saint Nicholas blesses everyone who prays. He used to bless merchants, brewers, sailors, repentant thieves, students, archers, and children.
2. What does St. Nicholas protect you from?
The sailors believe that St. Nicholas protects you from the wrath of the sea, and the poor believe that he offers freedom from poverty.
3. Does the Catholic Church recognize St. Nicholas?
Roman Catholic church recognizes St. Nicholas and the other Nine saints. But it is not mandatory to celebrate the feats days.
Saint Nicholas Day Observances
|2021||Monday||06 December||Saint Nicholas Day|
|2022||Tuesday||06 December||Saint Nicholas Day|
|2023||Wednesday||06 December||Saint Nicholas Day|
|2024||Friday||06 December||Saint Nicholas Day|
|2025||Saturday||06 December||Saint Nicholas Day|
|2026||Sunday||06 December||Saint Nicholas Day|
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