St. Nicholas Day 2019 is on Friday, December 6, 2019: Did you observe St. Nicholas' Day?

Friday, December 6, 2019 is St. Nicholas Day 2019. The tradition of Saint Nicholas' Day, on 6 December (19 December in most Orthodox countries), is a festival for children in many countries in Europe related to surviving legends of Saint Nicholas, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts.

Celebrate St. Nicholas Day!

The tradition of Saint Nicholas' Day, on 6 December (19 December in most Orthodox countries), is a festival for children in many countries in Europe related to surviving legends of Saint Nicholas, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts.

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Did you observe St. Nicholas’ Day?

Yes. I visited family and celebrated in the South of the Netherlands in Bergen op Zum. I was surprised to find young people walking in fancy costumes and black face. In the Netherlands this apparently does not mean the same thing as it does in the States. Here, they dressed up as Svarte Piet, the faithful assistant to St. Nicholas, who was either a Moor or an Ethiopian. They passed out strooigoed and kruidnoten to children of the town, Dutch cookies.

I put out my klompen with hay for the horse of St. Nicholas. In the morning it was full of little toys and chocolates. My neighbors laughed and told me if I had nothing or if I had a lump of coal I would be sent with all the bad children to Spain, a remark that recalls the fact that the Netherlands was under Spanish control at one time. We ate goose for our evening meal with beer. It was very cold.

I have also been to the Church of St. Nicholas in Amsterdam.

My father's mother was from the Netherlands. He celebrated St. Nicholas Day instead of Christmas when he was growing up. He reminded me of this every December.

Years ago, I was a teacher at a Greek Orthodox School that was named St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas is apparently the patron saint of the city of Amsterdam, of prostitutes and of sailors. The church had a piece of his jaw - forget what this is called - and was taken out once a year for veneration. The church was always decked out at this time of the year.

When is Saint Nicholas’ day?

When is Saint Nicholas' day?

St. Nicholas

Feast day: December 6

Patron of Bakers and Pawnbrokers

St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas, called "of Bari", Bishop of Myra (Fourth Century) 6 Dec. Feast day. The great veneration with which this saint has been honoured for many ages and the number of altars and churches which have been everywhere dedicated in his memory are testimonials to his holiness and of the glory which he enjoys with God. He is said to have been born at Patara in Lycia, a province of Asia Minor. Myra, the capital, not far from the sea, was an episcopal see, and this church falling vacant, the holy Nicholas was chosen bishop, and in that station became famous by his extraordinary piety and zeal and many astonishing miracles. The Greek histories of his life agree that he suffered imprisonment of the faith and made a glorious confession in the latter part of the persecution raised by Dioletian, and that he was present at the Council of Nicaea and there condemned Arianism. The silence of other authors makes many justly suspect these circumstances. He died at Myra, and was buried in his cathedral.

Why celebrate?

To learn about the true St. Nicholas: the man of faith who lived his life in devotion to Christ. Saint Nicholas loved children and cared for the needy. He brings the love of Christ and the healing of Jesus. When we honor this saint, following his example of selfless giving, we honor the Christ Child who selflessly gave the greatest gift of all—himself.

Where is St. Nicholas from?

Where is St. Nicholas from?

St Nicholas was from Turkey. He gave presents secretly, because he was a Christian and decided to follow Jesus's word to give to the poor. He often put coins in people's shoes. He is the figure that the modern day Santa Claus is based on. The name Santa Claus comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas.

There are a number of stories about him. One is that he once witnessed a butcher murdering 3 young boys and put the bodies in a pot to cure, waiting until they were cooked enough to put into meat pies. St Nicholas saw the butcher and resurrected the 3 boys.

Another story is that there was a man who had 3 daughters. He could not afford for them to get married, meaning they would have to become prostitutes. St Nicholas, who had been travelling to help the poor and hungry, decided to help the man. Although St Nicholas did not want to give the man the money in public, either because he was modest or because he wanted to save the man embrarassment. There are different versions of this story, but one is that on of the daughters had just washed her stockings and had left them over the fireplace to dry. St Nicholas dropped a purse of gold coins down the chimney and the purse landed in the stocking. This is how we get the tradition of Santa Claus coming down the chimney and leaving presents in a stocking. Other versions of the story include St Nicholas throwing 3 purses of gold coins in through the window at night, one for each daughter.

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