When Is Saint Nicholas Feast Day


St. Nicholas Day

St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6th, the feast day of St. Nicholas, the 4th-century bishop of Myra. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of Russia and Greece, as well as of a number of cities, sailors, and children, among many other groups, and he was renowned for his generous disposition. Some countries observe St. Nicholas Day on December 5, while others do not. Saint Nicholas Day will be observed on Monday, December 6, 2021, in the year 2021.


After the Reformation, St. Nicholas was mostly forgotten in Protestant Europe, however his legacy was preserved in the shape of Sinterklaas celebrations in the Netherlands. It is said that on his feast day, St. Nicholas arrives on horseback, dressed in a bishop’s red robe and mitre, with Black Peter (Zwarte Piet), who has been variously described as a freed slave or as a Moor, to assist him in distributing sweets and presents to good children, as well as coal, potatoes, and switches to bad children.

Old Nordic folktales about a magician who punished mischievous children and awarded good youngsters with gifts were combined with his story of an elderly gentleman who was kind and kind.

In the United Kingdom, he has been mainly supplanted by Father Christmas.

You’re undoubtedly aware that the legend of Santa Claus originated with St.

But who exactly is this saint in the first place?


Distinguish between the actual St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, and the gift-giving Santa Claus of the holiday season. Learn about the historical St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, and his life and times. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. is a publishing company that publishes encyclopedias. View all of the videos related to this topic. St. Nicholas Day has long been celebrated in parts of northern Europe, notably the Low Countries and other German-speaking areas, as a day when children are given special cookies, sweets, and other little presents.

  1. Nicholas as well as carrots or grass for his donkey or horse in a number of locations.
  2. In honor of St.
  3. Candy canes in the shape of a bishop’s crosier are also given out as part of the gift.
  4. Nicholas became entwined with other cultural and religious figures of a similar nature.
  5. A number of cultures have traditions in which a nefarious character travels with St.
  6. It is reported that in France, Père Fouettard, who according to tradition attempted to boil three boys in a barrel of brine, whips or throws coals at misbehaving youngsters.
  7. Nicholas is not there, Knecht Ruprecht works as his servant, giving youngsters who do not know their prayers sticks, stones, or coal to help them remember them.
  8. St.
  9. A sculpture of St.
  10. 1500, and now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Trevor Little captured this image. New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art received the donation of J. Pierpont Morgan in 1916. (16.32.193) Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica Amy Tikkanen has made the most current revisions and updates to this page.


Saint Nicholas Day, celebrated on December 6th, commemorates the third-century saint who was credited as being the inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus. St. Nicholas is well-known for selling all of his goods and distributing the proceeds to the poor and needy. St. Nicholas was raised as a devoted Christian, and he spent his whole life to aiding the ill and the afflicted. Legendary legends about St. Nicholas were then used as part of the basis for the creation of the modern-day Santa Claus figure.

  • One story talks about a father who is destitute and has three kids.
  • Traditional practices included leaving shoes by the fires at night to dry so that they would not get wet.
  • Nicholas presented a dowry for each of the three young ladies on three distinct occasions.
  • While St.
  • Traditions include placing presents in shoes (or stockings) or exchanging little gifts with friends and family members.
  • The wicked ones, on the other hand, get a twig or a bit of coal.
  • Nicholas include the following:
  • He is the patron saint of a plethora of organizations and causes. Sailors, tourists, clerics, schoolchildren, and criminals, to mention a few, are among the groups that have been affected. Born in the hamlet of Patar, which is located on the southeastern coast of modern-day Turkey, he was the son of a farmer. Water considered to have healing properties formed in his grave when he was buried in a tomb at Myra. It is referred to as the Manna of Saint Nicholas, and the 6th of December is also known as the Feast of Saint Nicholas, which is extensively honored across Europe.


Incorporate some Saint Nicholas Day customs into your holiday celebrations this holiday season. Slip a present or surprise inside someone’s shoe and they’ll be surprised. It is not necessary to have anything fancy.

  • You may leave an unique note or a little piece of chocolate in an attractively wrapped package. Give the tree a currency or an ornament in exchange for your presence. In the shoes of someone you care about, slip a stress ball or a fresh pair of socks in there. Another fun present to tuck inside a pair of shoes is a playful air freshener or a little bath bomb
  • These are both small and easy to conceal.

Tell the story of St. Nicholas to your children. Make use of the hashtag #StNicholasDay when posting on social media.


The feast of St. Nicholas is observed on December 6, the anniversary of his death, all throughout the world. St. Nicholas Frequently Asked Questions Q. When and where was Saint Nicholas born? A. The Christian bishop was born on March 15, 270 AD, in the Turkish city of Patara. Q. Is St. Nicholas the same person as Santa Clause? A. No, the concept of Santa Claus was inspired by St. Nicholas. Similarly, the Dutch word Sinterklaas is associated with the history of Santa Clause. There are about 1,500 national days in the United States.

With the National Day Calendar ®, you can celebrate every day®!

St. Nicholas Day 2021

Was Saint Nicholas a real person or a fictional character? Is he the real Santa Claus and Father Christmas, as he claims to be? Learn about the history of St. Nicholas Day as well as the customs and traditions connected with the celebration (don’t forget to leave those shoes at home!). ADVERTISEMENT

Saint Nicholas Day: The Feast of Sinterklaas

St. Nicholas Day (December 6 on the Gregorian calendar, or December 19 on the Julian calendar) marks the beginning of the Advent season. St. Nicholas was a bishop who was well-known for his charitable activities, which included helping the poor and children in particular. He was known for making substantial and anonymous contributions (without anyone knowing the gifts were from him). Nicholas was canonized as a saint in the 800s, and it was not until the 1200s that Catholics in France began celebratingBishop Nicholas Dayon December 6, which is now known as Saint Nicholas Day.

Nicholas), which begins on the 5th of December, the eve of the day, by exchanging candy, chocolate messages, small presents, and riddles with one another.

Nicholas would come and exchange them for little gifts.

Nicholas would come by ship on December 6 in Belgium and the Netherlands, when he would ride a white horse (or a donkey) around the cities, throwing out presents to the children.

These events paved the way for the creation of the character Santa Claus and the ritual of gift-giving. For many European nations, this modest gift-giving day in the first week of Advent serves to keep the focus of Christmas Day on the true meaning of the holiday season.

When Is St. Nicholas Day This Year?

Year St. Nicholas Day
2021 Monday, December 6
2022 Tuesday, December 6
2023 Wednesday, December 6
2024 Friday, December 6

Saint Nicholas Traditions

It may surprise you to learn that some of our Santa Claus customs originated on St. Nicholas Day, which is celebrated on December 6th. If your children are perplexed about Santa Claus, you could choose to explain them the tale of St. Nicholas, who was a true saint who gave presents on others as a way of demonstrating his religious commitment. Shoes have been left out of the equation. When it comes to celebrating St. Nicholas Day, the most prevalent tradition is to put shoes out for St. Nicholas to fill with modest presents.

  1. Traditionally, the presents consist of miniature candies or pennies, which are modest but provide a great deal of excitement for the youngsters who receive them.
  2. The shoes will be filled with tiny treats when you wake up in the morning (candy canes, spare change, foreign coins).
  3. The candy cane is also a representation of St.
  4. Dress up your shoes with little candy canes or use them to adorn your Christmas tree!
  5. Cookies for Sinterklaas A typical dessert on St.
  6. Traditionally prepared in a form that resembles the shaking of St.
  7. According to some traditions, St.
  8. In this year’s calendar, what day does Christmas fall on?

St. Nicholas History: Who Was the Real St. Nicholas?

It may surprise you to learn that some of our Santa Claus traditions originated on St. Nicholas Day, which is celebrated every year on December 6. To clear up any doubts your children may have about Santa Claus, you could choose to tell them the tale of St. Nicholas. He was a real saint who spent presents on others to express his faith. Footwear is omitted. In the United States, the most typical way to commemorate St. Nicholas Day is to put shoes out for St. Nicholas to fill with little presents.

  • Most of the time, the presents are only tiny candies or pennies, which are modest yet quite enjoyable for youngsters to receive.
  • The shoes will be stuffed with little treats when you wake up in the morning (candy canes, spare change, foreign coins).
  • Also known as St.
  • Decorate your shoes with little candy canes or your tree with ornaments!
  • Cookies for St.
  • Nicholas Day.

Nicholas’s handshake. As a result of these customs, St. Nicholas is equated with Santa Claus, and he arrives on the night of December 24 to leave gifts for children to unwrap on the following day, December 25. In this year’s calendar, when is Christmas?

Is St. Nicholas Really Santa Claus?

Several tales of St. Nicholas are associated with the narrative of Santa Claus, including one that concerns gift-giving and another that concerns children. The protagonist of one story had three daughters and no dowry for any of them, therefore diminishing their chances of marriage and increasing the likelihood that they would be sold into slavery instead. Upon reaching marriageable age, a bag of gold (or, in other tales, a ball of gold or an orange) was mysteriously thrown through a window and placed in one of the girl’s socks or shoes near the fire.

  1. Nicholas, and the scenario prompted the installation of stockings or shoes by the fireplace, into which gifts were to be deposited.
  2. When a young boy was abducted in his native hamlet during a festival commemorating the anniversary of Nicholas’s death, he was sold as a slave to the ruler of a nearby province.
  3. The good news is that, according to legend, Nicholas emerged and stole the kid away from his captors, depositing him in his home with the gold cup from which he was serving the emir still in his hand.
  4. Nicholas was canonized less than a century after his death, and he is now revered as the patron saint of not just children, but also sailors, prisoners, travelers, marriageable maidens, laborers, and even thieves and murderers, among other things.
You might be interested:  Where Is Sue Saint Marie

Learn More

Several tales of St. Nicholas are associated with the myth of Santa Claus, including one that concerns gift-giving and another that concerns young children. The protagonist of one story had three daughters and no dowry for any of them, therefore diminishing their chances of marriage and increasing the likelihood that they would be sold into slavery. Upon reaching marriageable age, a bag of gold (or, in other tales, a lump of gold or an orange) was mysteriously thrown through a window and landed in the toe of a sock or shoe near the fire place.

An other legend dates back to a time long after Nicholas’s death.

During the next year, the family grieved, and on the anniversary of the boy’s abduction, they refused to leave their house.

Consequently, Nicholas was re-established as a patron and defender of minors.

Numerous cities and areas have named churches after him across the world. In addition, hundreds of churches have been built in his honor.

History of the Feast of Saint Nicholas

Written by Beth Bevis, who hails from God With Us: Rediscovering the True Meaning of the Holiday Season “The Charity of St. Nicholas,” written by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Collection of postcards from the St. Nicholas Center As we wait for God to become manifest, we look to the entire body of Christ, both past and present, for examples of lived faith to inspire us. In Christian worship, the remembering of saints has been a part of the tradition since the second century. Saint Nicholas, who served as Bishop of Myra in the province of Lycia during the fourth century, is commemorated on December 6th.

  • He was also a zealous defender for people who had been wrongfully imprisoned or sentenced.
  • St.
  • The link between him and the American persona of Santa Claus is tenuous, but it may be established.
  • Nicholas used his inheritance to conduct charitable work, assisting others in need.
  • They were in danger of being sold into prostitution or some type of depravity until Nicholas showed up at their door one night and saved their lives.
  • This story is most likely the root of his future link to the ritual of gift-giving at Christmas, which he discovered later.
  • Many Protestants had been influenced by the Reformation to completely renounce the practice of commemorating the saints.
  • When Dutch youngsters informed their English-speaking peers about “Sinter Klaas,” the bishop in red robes who delivered them surprises on his feast day, the habit spread throughout North America as a result of immigration.
  • In addition to delivering presents down the chimney, this merry Saint Nick did it on Christmas Day rather than on the saint’s day.
  • Beyond the apparent differences between Saint Nicholas and the secular Santa Claus, the most dramatic distinction between the two may be found in the type of the presents that they give to one another over the holiday season.
  • It is through the works of real charity that Saint Nicholas’ life serves as a model of faith shown in deeds of kindness.

Paraclete Press published a book by Greg Pennoyer in 2007. Permission has been granted to use. Advent meditations, scripture readings, and prayers for each day of the season. You may buy it at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Amazon.uk.next page

The Facts Behind Five St. Nicholas’ Day Traditions (Including Krampus)

If you know all there is to know about Santa Claus (the North Pole, eight flying reindeer, cookies and milk), but you don’t know anything about Saint Nicholas, you’re in for a surprise.

Who was Saint Nicholas?

Historically, Saint Nicholas’ Day is celebrated on December 6th in honor of Saint Nicholas of Myra, who served as a bishop in the fourth century. Saint Nicholas was a well-known charitable character, who helped children in need, families in financial difficulty, and the sick. Throughout his life, he was also known for leaving cash in people’s shoes and surprising them with presents – a habit that many people continue today, especially around this time of year.

When is St. Nicholas’ day?

However, depending on where you live, St. Nicholas’ Day celebrations begin as early as mid-November in most locations. The date of St. Nicholas’ Day is December 5, 6, or 19, depending on where you reside. Are you interested in learning more about the customs that are being observed in celebration of this ancient holiday? This is a list of five ways people all across the world commemorate Saint Nicholas’ Day.

St. Nicholas’ Day parades

The celebrations in the Netherlands begin with parades held all across the nation to commemorate Saint Nicholas’ entrance from Spain, which kicks off the festivities. As part of their yearly arrival parade, which is known asSinterklaasinDutch, practically every town and city hosts a procession that generally includes someone costumed asSinterklaason a horse, boat, carriage, or even helicopter During the week between his arrival and St. Nicholas’ Day, Sinterklaas visits hospitals, schools, and individuals’ homes, leaving tiny presents for children who have been good and have behaved well.

A boot in front of the fireplace

When it comes to the eve of St. Nicholas’ Day, children leave a shoe or a boot in front of their fireplace or front door, with the hope that they would wake up to find it loaded with presents from Saint Nicholas. It is possible that Saint Nicholas may leave a stick for wayward youngsters, similar to the tradition of Santa Claus giving coal for wicked children. In different nations, this custom takes on different forms, ranging from a bag of salt to a switch that parents might employ as a form of discipline.

These gifts might range from hot cocoa and mandarin oranges to customized letters, sweets, and cash that can be shared with family and friends.

St. Nicholas’ Feast Day

When it comes to celebrations, some cultures place greater emphasis on the day before than the actual day itself. Consider the example of Christmas Day: many families conduct their parties and exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, and then spend Christmas Day in church or privately enjoying with intimate relatives on the actual day of celebration. In the Netherlands, St. Nicholas’ Eve is celebrated with gift-giving and a large family meal called Sinterklaasavond(Sinterklaasevening), which is also known as Sinterklaasevening in English.

A typical table can include Bishop’s wine, breads, St.

Pork with mustard and apples, for example, could be served in France. Pfannkuchen, often known as German pancakes, are a popular dish in Germany. Arrive hungry since traditional St. Nicholas pizzas, soups, and pastries may be found all over the world, so come prepared!

Gifts for unmarried women

Children aren’t the only ones who get presents on Saint Nicholas’ Day in Italy; unmarried women are also included on the list of recipients. Unmarried women in Italy may attend a special liturgy on St. Nicholas’ Day in order to participate in the Rito delle nubili, a rite in which they spin a column seven times in order to improve their chances of finding a mate. Are you perplexed as to why unmarried ladies receive so much attention on St. Nicholas’ Day? Saint Nicholas is revered as a patron saint of more than only children and the poor; he is also revered as a patron saint of virgins.

A visit from Krampus, St. Nicholas’ cloven-footed companion

On Saint Nicholas’ Day, not everything is jolly and bright — and this is entirely down to the evil Krampus. Children who misbehave are punished by various versions of this terrifying figure, which may be found all around the world with Saint Nicholas. Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic are the countries where you’re most likely to run encounter Krampus. He’s frequently shown as a half-man, half-goat hybrid — a terrifying monster that borrows characteristics from demons, creatures, and the devil to create a terrifying spectacle.

  1. In his travels with Saint Nicholas, Krampus leaves coal for misbehaving children and, in certain circumstances, abducts them and hides them in his bag.
  2. Krampus comes to the streets, calling on the parents of unruly youngsters to visit them in their homes.
  3. Sinterklaas can still be celebrated if you brush up on your Dutch language skills, and Krampusnacht can still be celebrated if you brush up on your German language skills.
  4. Do you know of any more noteworthy St.
  5. Please share your thoughts in the comments section!
  6. From Detroit, Michigan, Jillian works as a writer and editor for a variety of publications.
  7. Jillian enjoys spending her spare time reading, writing, and listening to podcasts – both in Spanish and in English!

Liturgical Year : Activities : Celebrating for the Feast of St. Nicholas

The feast day of St. Nicholas, bishop, is celebrated on December 6, which marks the beginning of the Advent season.

This day is widely observed as a national holiday in many countries, particularly in Eastern Europe and Germanic nations such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. This saint’s day is also celebrated in Italy.


It is important for families to attempt to maintain the emphasis on the true meaning of Advent and Christmas during this time of year when commercialism is prevalent. Advent is a time of preparation for the birth of Christ, both internally and physically. Instead of presenting stocking presents on Christmas Day, consider giving them on the 6th of December to move the emphasis away from the materialistic or “give me” nature of the holiday season. On the evening of December 5th, shoes can be placed outside the bedroom door, and stockings can be hung by the fireplace.

  • Nicholas (rather than Santa Claus) visits the house and places cookies or presents in the children’s shoes or stockings.
  • Nicholas travels to Germanic regions, he is accompanied by Krampus, an evil spirit or small demon who is generally clad in fur or black with a long tail and carrying a rattling chain, birch twigs, and a large black sack.
  • Peter dresses in animal skins or in the typical Moorish colorful attire of the Middle Ages.
  • Nicholas Eve.
  • Other Krampuses lie in wait, rattling their chains and threatening to drag bad youngsters away in their black sacks or punish them with their birch branches if they do not behave themselves.
  • The Feast of St.
  • During the holiday season, children place their shoes on the windowsill or outside their bedroom door, and St.

On December 6, the day before his real feast day, he may make an appearance.

All of the children’s good and bad behaviors are recorded in a big book that the Guardian Angels have been carrying about with them for the past year.


In order to offer an account of the family’s year and potentially to repeat their prayers, the bishop summons each kid up to share their testimony.

He distributes the sweets after each youngster makes a vow to behave well for the rest of the year.

Whether it is celebrated on the eve of or on the 6th of December, this holiday is a fun occasion for both adults and children.

See the recipes that have been proposed for this feast day. Jennifer Gregory Miller (JGM) created the original text for this activity, which is protected by copyright until 2022. Jennifer Gregory Miller contributed to this report.

St. Nicholas Day: What is it & How is it Celebrated?

However, while almost everyone in the United States knows what Christmas is, one fun winter holiday you may not have heard of is St. Nicholas Day, which takes place on December 6. The day, which is traditionally marked by the placement of small surprise gifts in shoes or stockings, is meant to honor the generous spirit of Saint Nicholas, who served as the historical inspiration for our contemporary version of Santa Claus! Festivities for St. Nicholas Day are very common in European and eastern Asian countries, and it can be a fun new tradition for you and your family to incorporate into your holiday season.

Nicholas Day?

Small children, in particular, will delight in this unexpected early visit from Saint Nick, while older children will appreciate learning a little about the historical foundations of modern Christmas celebrations!

What is St. Nicholas Day?

It is customary to commemorate the life of Saint Nicholas of Myra, who was the inspiration for the modern-day figure of Santa Claus, on December 6th each year. Also known as the Feast of St. Nicholas, this holiday is celebrated annually on December 6. St. Nicholas Day customs often include the distribution of tiny presents, which are frequently placed in shoes that children have left out the night before. (This is an excellent opportunity to surprise your family with some little, affordable Christmas gifts a few weeks early!) Nicholas of Myra (commonly known as St.

Despite the fact that little is known about St.

The legend of Saint Nicholas leaving gold for three daughters whose father could not pay a dowry served as the inspiration for Santa Clause dropping gifts under the tree on Christmas Eve.

When is St. Nicholas Day?

Every year, on the 6th of December, St. Nicholas Day is commemorated. Historically, this day was selected to mark the anniversary of St. Nicholas’ death, as well as to honor his long life and charitable nature. In a similar vein to how Christmas celebrations sometimes begin on Christmas Eve, some people begin their New Year’s celebrations on the evening of December 5. St. Nicholas Day may be observed on December 19 in some Eastern Christian nations who continue to utilize the Julian calendar, such as the Orthodox Church of Russia.

What Religions Celebrate St. Nicholas Day?

St. Nicholas Day is largely a Christian celebration because Nicholas of Myra was canonized by the Catholic Church and is celebrated on December 6. It is mainly popular among European Catholic and German Lutheran people. It is also popular among other religious groups. It does not have to be a religious custom, though, because the holiday is dedicated to St. Nicholas himself and his spirit of kindness and charity, which is commemorated. On December 6, it might be entertaining to surprise members of the family or someone important with a tiny present that is put into their shoes.

When it comes to starting the winter holiday season off right, something as simple as a charming letter and some decadentGodiva chocolates may be a comforting expression of appreciation and care.

Why Do We Celebrate St. Nicholas Day?

Having devoted his life to aiding the less fortunate and the less fortunate among us, St. Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, travelers, clergy, schoolchildren, and thieves, among others. St. Nicholas is said to have sold his goods and given the proceeds to the destitute on a regular basis, according to certain legends. Saint Nicholas Day provides an opportunity to focus on the spirit of giving and caring for others by exchanging presents and surprise loved ones with little, unexpected indicators that you are thinking about them.

You might be interested:  How Big Is A Saint Bernard Dog

What Are St. Nicholas Day Traditions?

St. Nicholas Day traditions include having youngsters put their shoes in the foyer or next to the fireplace, believing that St. Nicholas would drop by and leave them a small gift. This stems from the traditional custom of putting one’s shoes by the fireplace to dry overnight, only to discover them loaded with presents, monies, and clever notes the next morning on St. Nicholas Day. There are a variety of additional traditional methods to commemorate St. Nicholas Day that may be modernized to reflect current trends.

Nick and collect money to give to the underprivileged over the holiday season.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the holidays is the opportunity to create your own unique family traditions in the run-up to Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah.

Nicholas Day may make the holiday season something to look forward to for the entire family at the end of each year.

Everything You Need To Know About St. Nicholas Day

Over the previous 200 years, no image or notion has come to characterize the spirit of giving, kindness, and love as vividly as Santa Claus. He is the embodiment of the spirit of giving, goodness, and love. The appearance of a mythological guy who praises the virtuous and chastises the evil is a common theme that may be found all across the world. Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Papa Noel, and Babbo Natale, is a modern-day version of the real-life ideas of St. Nicholas, who is revered around the world.

What Is St. Nicholas Day?

St. Nicholas Day, also known as the Feast of St. Nicholas, is celebrated on December 6th and commemorates the death anniversary of the third-century Catholic saint who was the inspiration for modern renditions of Santa Claus. St. Nicholas Day, which should not be confused with Christmas, is similarly steeped in a custom of giving, which stems from the saint’s legendary generosity and is celebrated on December 6. According to legend, St. Nicholas sold all he possessed and donated the proceeds to the impoverished.

According to legend, the practice of receiving presents from St.

Traditionally, presents such as shoes, stockings, or little toys and candies were left for good boys and girls who had done well.

Children who were mischievous were punished with roots, twigs, or even coal. New Amsterdam, which is today known as New York, was the first European town in the New World where the custom was established.

Where Is St. Nicholas Day Celebrated?

St. Nicholas Day is observed and celebrated in a number of nations across the world. In honor of St. Nicholas, who is the patron saint of both Russia and Greece, St. Nicholas Day is celebrated in a number of small towns and villages throughout both nations. Because of its origins, St. Nicholas Day is widely observed in the coastal regions of northern Europe, particularly in parts like Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, where it is particularly popular. The St. Nicholas Center keeps track of St.

“Customs from 42 nations demonstrate how he is the primary gift-giver in some locations,” the authors write, “while in others he is predominantly a religious figure.”

How Is St. Nicholas Day Celebrated?

As stated by the website German Culture, children in Germany should “tidy up their rooms, clean their toys, and make sure their shoes and boots are shined and ready to wear by the door or on a ledge.” They also send him notes and food for his white horse, which he appreciates (or donkey). Next morning, the boots are brimming with goodies such as candies, nuts, and tiny presents. Several French areas, like Alsace, Lorranie, and the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, which are close to the German border, continue to practice the custom.

  • Nicholas, and they are rewarded with chocolates and other little presents.
  • But nowhere is St.
  • When St.
  • Sinterklaas and his assistants, known as Pietens, are expected to appear in the Netherlands, and youngsters are encouraged to keep an eye out for them.
  • Local church bells sound in jubilation as soon as they reach their destination.
  • On the evening of December 5, St.

A Lasting Legacy

The religious figure who served as Santa Claus’s inspiration is still revered today. As reported by the St. Nicholas Center, pilgrimages to the Basilica of St. Nicholas in Bari, Italy, have continued to this day, and he continues to be held up as an example and symbol of leading a compassionate life.

St. Nicholas Day – Sunday, December 6

St. Nicholas Day, which is celebrated on December 6, is of course associated with Christmas and Santa Clause, but there is much more to this event and to St. Nicholas himself than just this relationship.

Despite the fact that St. Nicholas was a major inspiration for the Christmas and Santa Clause that we all know and love, St. Nicholas actually comes from a completely other type of story. Come learn more about St. Nicholas and what this day is really all about.

History of St. Nicholas Day

In the 4th century, St. Nicholas, who was descended from Nicholas of Myra, served as a bishop in Greece. He was well-known for auctioning off his personal possessions and then donating the proceeds to the destitute. In his spare time, he would frequently place pennies in people’s shoes, and he devoted his entire life to aiding those who were sick and hurting. This is how he was elevated to sainthood, and it is also what prompted the celebration of St. Nicholas Day (also commonly known as Feast Day or the Feast of St.

  • St.
  • In the third century, it was normal for fathers to make financial offers to sons who were considering marriage.
  • The dowries of all three girls were paid for by St.
  • As time progressed, numerous traditions for celebrating St.
  • In Italy, this day was marked by feasts, gift-giving, and celebrations, among other activities.
  • Nicholas boot in front of the fireplace or front door at night, they would wake up to find gifts in their shoes the next morning.
  • Nicholas and his good actions served as inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus and Father Christmas, which is why there are certain current customs of placing presents in people’s boots or shoes, as well as the practice of leaving gifts under the tree (or stockings).

St. Nicholas Daytimeline

Nicholas is born in 270 AD, yet he was not officially recognized as a saint at the time of his birth. St. Nicholas died in 343 AD. He was 73 years old and was buried at Myra. The bones of St. Nicholas have been relocated. His remains were transported to Bari, Italy, by Italian seamen. 1100sCandy is a delight On Feast Day, French nuns began distributing candies and presents to underprivileged youngsters.

St. Nicholas DayFAQ s

He is revered as the patron saint of sailors, children, merchants, criminals, and pawnbrokers, among other things.

When did St. Nicholas die?

He was 73 years old when he died on December 6, 343 AD.

Why do we celebrate St. Nicholas day?

The celebration of St Nicholas Day, which takes place on December 6, honors the patron saint from the third century and the charity he displayed to people around him. He had such a long-lasting influence that his persona, Santa Clause, was inspired by him throughout time.

How to celebrate

  • St. Nicholas Day, also known as the Feast of St. Nicholas, is a widely observed holiday in Europe that is highly commemorated. Prepare a feast for your family and friends on December 6 to commemorate the occasion. Spending a little more money on food for a day isn’t always a bad thing.

Help someone in need

  • It is customary to aid those in need on St. Nicholas’s Day, and following in his footsteps is a wonderful way to commemorate the holiday. Make a donation to a charitable organization that helps others, donate money to someone in need, or lend a hand to a friend or family member in need.

Decorate your own stocking or special St. Nicholas boot.

  1. This would make an excellent decoration for the occasion of St. Nicholas Day. To decorate your home for St. Nicholas Day, get a pair of inexpensive boots or upcycle an existing pair to create a unique decoration to display in front of your fireplace.

5 Facts About St. Nicholas Day

  • The Manna of Saint Nicholas is a therapeutic water that has created and is said to have medicinal properties.

He was born of Greek descent

  • He grew raised in the town of Patara, which is located outside of the city of Myra.

Nicholas means “people’s victory”

  1. Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, was ultimately responsible for his release.

Why we love

  • Who doesn’t appreciate a good occasion to get together with friends and family and eat a substantial meal? Saint Nicholas Day is often observed in this manner, so establish a new tradition with your family on December 6 by sharing a meal together.

It brings out the best of people

  • With a day dedicated to a historical individual who aided those in need, it’s difficult not to feel inspired to do something good for others. Because St. Nicholas spent his entire life assisting others, St. Nicholas Day serves as a reminder to everyone to do the same.

The tradition is different everywhere

  1. The fact that St. Nicholas Day is celebrated differently all across the world is something that distinguishes it. It is customary in Italy to celebrate with a feast, whereas other European nations celebrate by hiding gifts in their shoes. Every region has its own traditions on St. Nicholas Day, which adds to the excitement of the holiday.

St. Nicholas Daydates

Year Date Day
2022 December 6 Tuesday
2023 December 6 Wednesday
2024 December 6 Friday
2025 December 6 Saturday
2026 December 6 Sunday

St. Nicholas Day – German Culture

The patron saint of all children The legend of St. Nicholas, the bishop of Myra in Minor Asia, who died on December 6, 343 (the 6th of December), dates back to the 4th century and is known as the “Father of the Year.” His appearance is stated to be in the company of Knecht Ruprecht, with the suffix “Knecht” denoting “servant.” Ruprecht was traditionally portrayed as a dark and evil creature who wore a torn robe and carried a large bag on his back, into which, according to folklore, he would throw any misbehaving children.

  • Also appearing with St.
  • Nicholas, who is accompanied by an angel and the Christchild (Christkindl).
  • Nikolaus started to change, with the grandeur of the candle-lit Christmas tree and the emphasis on the birth of Christ taking precedence, and Knecht Ruprecht was elevated to the role of servant and companion to the Christchild.
  • St.
  • Nicholas Eve, is observed on December 6.
  • When the evening arrives, St.
  • In German-speaking nations, the practice of inspecting the children, during which they will recite a verse, sing, or otherwise demonstrate their abilities, is still common practice.


Nikolaus and his consort, Knecht Ruprecht, would visit households and inquire as to whether or not the children were acting well.

Children would be examined on their conduct and asked to recite poetry or sing a song as part of the assessment.

Knecht Ruprect is a more frightening character who walked around with a bag and a switch in his possession.


Children would straighten up their rooms and clean their toys in preparation for the visitor’s arrival.


One of the most well-known traditions associated with St.

Nicholas fills them with small presents. Another custom that is still practiced on this day is the baking of Stutenkerl, also known as Printenmann. It is essential to bake the cake in a specific baking form that is shaped like the saint, or even just a man, to achieve the greatest results.

Saint Nicholas

It is believed that Saint Nicholas was a Christian bishop who cared for the impoverished and ill, and he served as inspiration for the iconic figure of Santa Claus.

Who Was Saint Nicholas?

Saint Nicholas was a Christian bishop who devoted his life to assisting the poor. Following his death, the tale of his gift-giving spread even farther. Saint Nicholas was converted into the renowned persona known as Santa Claus, who is responsible for delivering Christmas gifts to children all over the world.

Early Life

Saint Nicholas was born about the year 280 in Patara, Lycia, which is now a part of the modern-day Turkish Republic. The young man lost both of his parents when he was a small boy. He apparently utilized his fortune to assist the destitute and sick. He was a pious Christian who ultimately rose to the position of bishop of Myra, which is today known as Demre.


Saint Nicholas of Myra is the subject of several stories and folklore. One narrative talks of him assisting three impoverished sisters. Their father did not have enough money to pay their dowries and contemplated selling them into slavery in order to supplement his income. A total of three times, Saint Nicholas made a surprise visit to their home at night and left a bag of money at the door. The money was used by the guy to arrange for one of his daughters to marry. The guy saw Saint Nicholas on his third visit and expressed his gratitude to him for his generosity.

Death and Legacy

Saint Nicholas is supposed to have died on December 6, 343 according to a number of different accounts. His miracles and charitable work for the poor expanded throughout the world as word of his miracles and charitable work for the destitute spread. He gained notoriety as a defender of children and seafarers, and he was also linked with the distribution of gifts. At least until the Reformation in the 1500s, he was a popular saint throughout Europe. The Reformation was a theological movement that resulted in the foundation of Protestantism, which rejected the practice of honoring religious figures such as saints.

  1. The Dutch continued to commemorate the feast of Saint Nicholas, which took place on December 6.
  2. They would find the presents that Saint Nicholas had left for them when they woke up the next morning.
  3. While in America, Saint Nicholas underwent several transformations: Sinterklaas became Santa Claus, and instead of presenting presents on December 6, he became an integral part of the Christmas season.
  4. Santa Claus, as seen in an 1881 painting by cartoonist Thomas Nast, contributed to the tradition of Saint Nicholas by donning a red outfit with white fur trim.
  5. In 2017, a team from the University of Oxford radiocarbon tested a piece of a pelvic bone that was thought to have belonged to Saint Nicholas.
  6. The results of the test indicated that the bone fragment, which belonged to an American priest, belonged to the saint’s time period.

When the bone was identified, archaeologists wanted to compare it to other bones that had been attributed to Saint Nicholas, including those that had been held in a crypt at Bari, Italy, since the 11th century.

Fact Check

We aim for accuracy and fairness in all we do. If you see something that doesn’t appear to be quite right, please let us know!

You might be interested:  What Time Is It In Saint Petersburg Russia

St. Nick’s Day is a holiday tradition on Dec. 6 for many Wisconsin families. Here’s what you should know.

Every year, around 212 weeks before Christmas, youngsters in the Milwaukee area look forward to a holiday that dampens their anticipation for the big day and provides them with a mini-Christmas morning. The holiday in question is St. Nick’s Day.

What is St. Nick’s Day?

In accordance with the Encyclopedia Britannica, St. Nicholas’ Day is the feast day of St. Nicholas, a 4th-century bishop who is also the patron saint of children in Russia, Greece, and other parts of Europe.

What is the meaning behind St. Nick’s Day?

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, St. Nicholas was known for his generosity, and his legend was maintained alive in Holland, where he was referred to as Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas the Great). Traditionally, he was believed to deliver presents to good children and lumps of coal to naughty ones. His tale would ultimately be combined with the customs of many other cultures to become known as Santa Claus, although in certain regions of Europe, such as Germany, St. Nick’s Day is still celebrated separately from Christmas.

When does St. Nick come?

The feast day of St. Nick is celebrated on December 6. Traditionally, he hides gifts in children’s stockings or shoes on the night of December 5 so that they might be discovered the next morning.

Is St. Nick’s Day a Wisconsin thing?

In locations with a strong Dutch or German ethnic heritage — such as Milwaukee — St. Nick’s Day is observed, according to the Saint Nicholas Center for Religious Education. An item from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s archives provides some background information: “Like the fish fry and frozen custard, the celebration of St. Nick’s Day is particularly robust in Milwaukee, despite the fact that it is not primarily a Milwaukee custom.” Residents in the Milwaukee region have also realized, much to their surprise, that St.

  • As a child growing up in West Allis, Kathie Devlin was taught about the tale of St.
  • Aloysius, where she learned that the holiday is observed in places with significant concentrations of German or Dutch people.
  • Nick’s Day was a festival that all children celebrated.
  • The only individuals she encountered who were celebrating the mini-holiday were others who had traveled from the Midwest, where she had lived in Colorado, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Is St. Nick’s Day a Catholic tradition?

According to the St.

Nicholas Center, St. Nick’s Day is observed in numerous Catholic churches, as well as Orthodox and Episcopal churches, as well as other religious institutions. The festival, however, is not restricted to adherents of those religions.

What other states celebrate St. Nick’s Day?

According to the St. Nicholas Center, St. Nick’s Day is celebrated in places with Dutch traditions, such as Holland, Michigan, and regions of Illinois and Iowa. Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and St. Louis are among the cities where St. Nick’s Day is observed in the German form of the tradition;

How are St. Nick and Santa different?

Whereas St. Nick is based on the legend of St. Nicholas, Santa Claus is a fusion of numerous ethnic holiday customs that grew popular in the United States throughout the 19th century, according to the National Geographic. In addition, in the majority of countries, Santa delivers gifts on Christmas Eve, December 24. When it comes to opening gifts on Christmas Eve, some youngsters stay up late while others get up early to locate the items Santa has left in their stockings, under the Christmas tree, or in both locations.

What does St. Nick bring?

  • If you live in Europe, where the practice of leaving shoes or stockings for St. Nick to fill with goodies like oranges, chocolate coins, and candy canes is typical, you should consider doing so this year. The festival has become personal to many families, and children look forward to receiving their own personalized presents on St. Nick’s Day — such as handcrafted decorations, vintage toys, Christmas-themed chocolates, and the Elf on the Shelf if they live in a household that celebrates the event. Amy Schwabe may be reached at (262) 875-9488 or at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @WisFamilyJS, Instagram at @WisFamilyJS, and Facebook at @WisFamilyJS. WisconsinFamily may be found on Facebook. This reporting is made possible thanks to the support of our subscribers. Please consider subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal to help support local journalism in your community.

The Tradition of St. Nicholas Day Around the World (December 6th)

Having grown up celebrating St. Nicholas Day on December 6th, thanks to the impact of European immigrants on both sides of our families, my husband and I have continued the custom. Many people just refer to St. Nicholas as “Santa Claus,” or “Santa Clause.” However, while the current character of Santa is derived from St. Nick, you would be hard pressed to locate this patron saint of children engaged in the manufacture of toys in the North Pole.

Who Was St. Nicholas?

St. Nicholas of Myra was the historical figure who inspired the fictional character of Santa Claus in contemporary times. Born in Asia Minor around 280 A.D., he lost his parents while he was a child, despite the fact that they left him a large inheritance when they died. He was well-known for making anonymous donations to aid individuals in need, and he was eventually elevated to the position of bishop. The excellent bishop passed away on December 6th, and as a result, this day has been designated as St.

If you’re interested in learning more about how a guy with a beard, reindeer, and the North Pole came to be connected with St.

Why the Gift Giving?

The tradition of placing shoes or stockings out for St. Nicholas is thought to have originated from a narrative about his leaving little bundles of riches for a man and his three daughters in a nearby village. In order to locate a decent spouse during ancient times, ladies were required to provide a dowry to the wedding ceremony. During his travels, St. Nick came across a guy who had three daughters but could not afford to pay for their dowries. If it weren’t for it, the girls would very certainly end up in prostitution instead of being able to marry.

St. Nicholas Day Around the World

The Feast of St.

Nicholas is observed in a variety of civilizations all around the world on December 6. Several national customs associated with St. Nick have merged to form our own family tradition, which we call “Santa Claus.” Some civilizations throughout the world commemorate this day in the following ways:

Shen’Kollë in Greece

On the eve of St. Nicholas’ feast day, December 5th, Greece (as well as Albania, Serbia, and Bulgaria) commemorates the patron saint of children. Shen’Kolli I Dimnit is the name given to this day (Saint Nicholas of Winter). Instead of gift-giving, this day is observed as a day of fasting in several traditions. In reality, on this day, the majority of people abstain from meat, fast totally, or arrange a feast to be consumed just after the sun goes down.

Sinterklaas in BelgiumNetherlands

In these nations, children lay their boots in front of the fireplace as a gift for St. Nicholas on Christmas Eve. They frequently add a carrot or a treat for his horses, as tradition has it that he came in these locations with his horses by sleigh or steamboat, according to the folklore.

St. Nicholas and Père Fouettard in France

In France, St. Nicholas visits on December 6th and distributes tiny presents and chocolates to youngsters around the country. Parents and grandparents recount stories about the legend of St. Nick in the weeks preceding up to the holiday, including one that is unsettling yet widely shared by children. According to the legend, three youngsters strayed off and became separated. They were enticed inside a butcher’s shop, where they were slaughtered and salted away in a giant container of salt. In accordance with mythology, St.

(At the very least, there is a happy conclusion!) In France, this myth helped to establish St.

The butcher (also known as “Père Fouettard,” which translates as “Father Whipper”) is said to accompany St.

In France, this incident is frequently shown in statues and art, with the saint holding a barrel full of infants.

Sankt Nikolaus and Krampusnacht in Germany and Austria

The method in which our family celebrates St. Nicholas is mostly based on this custom. Children in Germany and Austria (as well as several other nations in this region) place a boot outside for St. Nicholas, in exchange for which they get little toys, cash, or candies. St. Nicholas is still dressed in the manner of a bishop in these locations, and he is frequently shown riding a horse. As in the French version, St. Nick is accompanied by a scary companion, in this case the far more fearsome Krampus, who resembles a demon.

According to legend, this beast punishes children who disobey and also captures especially misbehaving youngsters in his bag and transports them to his cave.

Krampus Night, also known as Krampusnacht, is celebrated on December 5th, when the hairy demon makes an appearance on the streets of Germany.

The Krampus is traditionally portrayed by young males on the night of December 5th, who terrorizes youngsters with rusted chains and bells as they walk the streets.

How We Celebrate St. Nicholas Day

Despite the fact that spooky stories may be entertaining in their own right, there is a more cheery way to commemorate St. Nicholas Day! After all, he was a decent bishop who was well-known for his charitable deeds. In our family, we commemorate St. Nicholas’ feast day by celebrating in a variety of ways, incorporating a variety of customs from across the world.

Leaving Shoes or Boots Out on December 5th

Despite the fact that spooky stories may be entertaining in their own right, there is a more cheery approach to commemorate St. Nicholas Day. It wasn’t for nothing that he was a nice bishop who was well-known for his charitable deeds. Saint Nicholas’ feast day is observed in our family in a variety of ways, each one inspired by a different culture’s traditions.

  • Coins: Each youngster is given a quarter to put in their shoe to represent the money that St. Nicholas gave them. Goodies that are good for you: We also provide nutritious treats such as dark chocolate, tiny packets of almonds, and handmade marshmallows. We serve oranges because they represent the gold that St. Nick handed out, plus our children like oranges at this time of year (which we don’t typically get because they aren’t in season).

Random Acts of Kindness

The most significant lesson to be learned from the legend of St. Nicholas is that he was a generous person. This time of year, we make it a point to engage in random acts of kindness to help us all remember this important lesson. We come up with innovative ideas for assisting those in need in our community, and then we go on our “secret” quest to provide some happiness to others. In the past, we’ve done things such as the following:

  • Gift vouchers to supermarkets can be delivered to families in need. Give a large package of gift-wrapped items and clothing to families that are in desperate need. Someone in need can have their utility bills paid anonymously. Gift-wrapping or donating things to local foster care groups are both options.

The options are unlimited, and it’s always a good reminder to be thankful for all of our blessings when faced with such a situation.

The Traveling Christmas St. Nicholas (or Angel)

This is undoubtedly the most entertaining tradition, and I hope you would consider establishing it in your own community. Keeping with the spirit of St. Nicholas Day, we’re starting a traveling Christmas St. Nicholas (or Angel) tradition to encourage charity across our community. The way it works is as follows:

  1. Purchase a little St. Nicholas statue or an orange statue of some sort. Consider another family in your community to whom you would like to send the statue along, as well as anything kind you might do for them. If it’s a tiny gift, a family activity, or just a random act of kindness, that counts. Give them a note stating that they have been touched by the spirit of Christmas giving and that it is now their responsibility to do the same for another family in the neighborhood. Leave the statue on their front door mat one evening and leave it there anonymously. They can also put up a piece of paper that reads, “We’ve been visited by St. Nicholas,” in their front window to let people know they’ve already been visited.

Whether you observe St. Nicholas Day or not, doing a random act of kindness over the holiday season is a wonderful way to appreciate the season, and the world surely needs more of it. From my family to yours, I wish you a happy Feast of St. Nicholas! Do you and your family participate in St. Nicholas Day festivities? What are your family’s customs?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *