December 6 is the Feast of Saint Nicholas of Myra, a bishop from the fourth century. He is the model for our modern-day Santa Claus, because Saint Nicholas’s generosity was legendary. The night before Saint Nicholas Day, children place their shoes in a prominent location– by a fireplace, or outside their bedroom door. The next morning–usually very early–the children find their shoes filled with little presents from the great saint.
- Saint Nicholas Day
December 6th is St. Nicholas Day, the day designated by the Catholic Church in its Calendar of Saints to honor the man named Nicholas who was Bishop of Myra, which is now a part of Turkey, and noted for his saintly life.
- Saint Nicholas Celebrations in the USA
Bishop St. Nicholas is celebrated by many churches and by communities which have a Dutch, German, or Ukrainian heritage. On the Advent Sunday closest to St. Nicholas Day, December 6, churches may have St. Nicholas festivals, large or small, with the good saint himself appearing to greet children, give instruction and encouragement, and hand out treats for children of all ages.
- Der Belznickel
My sisters and my baby brother danced about the house, whispering to each other excitedly about the coming of der Belznickel on that snowy December 5th evening, the day before the Feast of Saint Nicholas. According to the stories, the good Saint Nicholas chains up the Devil on the eve of his Birthday – December 6th — and makes him visit all of the children in the village to see if they have been behaving themselves and deserved the attention of Kirstkindel. Those who are good will receive gifts, but those who are naughty….
- Saint Nicholas and the Merchant’s Daughters
Many centuries ago in the ancient port city of Myra in Asia Minor there lived a rich merchant named Demetri. Demetri owned six sailing ships which he would load with merchandise and send out to trade for spices, silks, perfumes and other precious goods available from traders the Mediterranean Sea…