St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6!
What is St. Nicholas Day?
Saint Nicholas Day falls on 6th December every year. It is celebrated on the eve of 5th December in Western and on 19th December in Eastern countries. It is also known as the feast of Saint Nicholas or Saint Nicholas feast day.
Who was Saint Nicholas?
Saint Nicholas was a Christian bishop. He spent his life helping the poor and the needy. His generosity and love for humanity made him this great of a figure after his death. After he died, he was given the name Santa Claus and is regarded as a figure who gives gifts to everyone one Christmas. He became a present giver.
Story of Saint Nicholas Day:
Saint Nicholas is a legendary figure who has supposedly sold his every possession to help the poor. Several events are quoted about his generosity. One of the events says that there was once a poor man who could not give dowry for her daughter, and because of that, her daughter could not get married and was getting old. The father was anxious, and at that time, Saint Nicholas gave gold to that poor man. To be precise, it is said that he made the gold appear in the hanging socks at night, and that is the beginning of the concept of hanging the stockings on Christmas.
Another vital thing to keep in mind here is that St. Nicholas’s day should not be confused with the Christmas day celebrated on 25th December. Saint Nicholas, also known by the name Santa Claus is a symbol of gift-giver on this occasion.
Saint Nicholas day is celebrated on the day of the death anniversary of Saint Nicholas-popularly known as Santa Claus. This day came into existence to appreciate the legendary figure of Saint Nicholas.
St. Nicholas Day Traditions
There are various traditions on Saint Nicholas Day. In some countries, Saint Nicholas day is celebrated by giving cookies, presents, chocolates, and other gifts to the children. There is a beautiful tradition where children leave letters for St. Nicholas. They write their wishes and the gifts they want in the letters. Everyone wants Saint Nicholas to grant him/her a desire or some present. There is a tradition of leaving carrots or grass for St. Nicholas’ donkey or horse as a generous gesture.
Children love to set out some stockings, shoes, or plates on this day in the desire that they might find some present in the morning. The next morning, the children find cute little gifts in the stockings, shoes, or whatever they set outside. Another common thing on this day is orange and chocolate coins. This was a remembrance of the generous act of Saint Nicholas when he helped the poor man in the marriage of her daughter by giving gold coins for dowry.
Video by A Common Life
Other Nicholas Days’ activities include visiting the church and praying there. This is to revive the true spirit of this day and pay gratitude to Saint Nicolas to do so much for the poor. There are various St. Nicholas days’ activities that occur in schools, colleges, universities. Various competitions are arranged on this day, which includes painting competitions and other art competitions. The children are taught the true meaning of generosity and are given lessons on this.
Various portraits of St. Nicholas are drawn, and different drawings of him are made. The children are given several tasks in which they study and learn about St. Nicholas and his contributions. Another exciting activity that is done on this day is to make the children meet Saint Nicholas. This is done by someone who wears the same clothes as the imaginary Santa Claus and distributes gifts among the children.
A quiz competition is also arranged in schools today, where children are asked what they need to do to become like Saint Nicholas. They are given different situations and asked their reaction or opinion on that. One more activity to enhance the children’s interest in Saint Nicholas is creating a giant color poster of Nicholas. The children are then asked to fill it with beautiful colors.
Saint Nicholas Gift Ideas:
Saint Nicholas is not a day when large and expensive gifts are exchanged. The children can be given small and cute presents today, too, because the primary purpose is to revive Saint Nicholas’ generosity by exchanging presents. There is a wide range of options for the gifts given to the children on this day. These gifts include chocolates, candies- inspired by the imaginary figure, Santa Claus, coins made of chocolate, and much more. The children can be given small toys and other games on this occasion too. But do keep in mind to give your children the gifts that they will like. No matter if the gift is smaller or bigger, it needs to be something the children would love.
Another creative and cute gift that can be given to the children on this day is handmade cards. The cards can be made inspired by the life of Saint Nicholas or by Santa Claus. In either case, make sure to use many colors and decorate the car to make it look pretty so that the children love it. You can give children a customized Santa Claus costume, too, which they will surely love.