6th. DECEMBER – SAINT NICHOLAS DAY
6th. December, St. Nicholas Day. If you have been celebrating that date, then you know what I am talking about. That is one of those magical days in your childhood. But in case if you are not familiar with this tradition, let me just quickly explain to you why this day is special, and especially for kids and children.
So, each year at 6th. of December, in honor and remembering Saint Nicholas, you are giving gifts to your loved ones. Similar to Christmas. In fact, Santa Claus is largely influenced by the character of Saint Nicholas. ‘Claus’ is coming from ‘Nicholas’.
In my experience, it is usually practiced in family. Parents are surprising their children by gifts and presents that are mysteriously appearing in socks or in shoes…or anywhere. Then children believe that this is Saint Nicholas coming, visiting them and giving them this gifts. And later, when children grow up, it loses its magic, both, for children and for parents. In my family, we are not practicing it with the same passion like Christmas. But however, we should definitely not forget about this day and we should keep this tradition alive. It is a great and fun way to give some simple gift to someone that matters to you.
BUT LETS GO BACK TO MY CHILDHOOD
I remember how I used to play with my cousins, and our parents and grandparents would put gifts somewhere in the house…of course, behind our back. And then when we would notice it, we have been left in wonder. How did this appear here??? Wow, look, it looks amazing.
And the amount of joy and excitement that we were experiencing every year at this day, is priceless. That is the beauty of childhood. Childhood was definitely something magical. It is almost little bit dreamy.
But lets go back to present, I am not child anymore but I still definitely feel that life is something magical.
Anyway, few days ago it was 6th. of December. And I was thinking, I need to find out more about this Saint Nicholas. I remember in school that we were learning about him and his story… but many years later, I forgot it. So I decided to make a little researcher simply to know the background story of this man and of this day.
WHO WAS SAINT NICHOLAS?
St. Nicholas was born on March 15th., year 270. in Patara (Lycia) in Turkey. But of course, we are not sure if this info about his birth is correct, but from some sources, we get this info. He died on 6th. of December, year 343. in Myra, Turkey. Modern name of this city, is Demre. And the date of his passing is date in which we celebrate his day.
St. Nicholas is often called to be a protector of children, sailors and many other people. It is said that he was even able to do miracles. But I will not get into this because I dont know if that is true or not.
There is one famous old story, legend about him. I guess we will never find out if this is true or not, but that doesnt even matter.
Legend goes like this:
One man had three daughters. Those daughters were old enough to get married but problem was that their father was poor man and he was not able to give dowry to someone. And you know the deal, in those times, if you dont offer a dowry, you cannot get your daughter to get married for somebody.
And here is coming St. Nicholas who on three different occasions put gold into socks and shoes of this daughters. And poor father was very happy because he was able to marry his daughters.
There is even one version of the story that, after the father received gold for two times, he was expecting that his unknown friend will come third time as well, since he had three daughters. So he was waiting in front of socks and shoes.. to catch him and to see who this man is. But this time, St. Nicholas, knowing this, decided to enter through the chimney. And that is one of the origin stories why Santa Claus is entering the chimney as well.
St. Nicholas sold all his possessions so that he can help little children and people in general. He was a Christian bishop as well. Today he is a saint accepted and celebrate by Catholic and Orthodox church as well.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this whole story.