When Is Saint Nicholas


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 kind disposition. Some nations 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. 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.

  1. As a child growing up in West Allis, Kathie Devlin was taught about the tale of St.
  2. Aloysius, where she learned that the holiday is observed in places with significant concentrations of German or Dutch people.
  3. Nick’s Day was a festival that all children celebrated.
  4. 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 tradition of leaving shoes or stockings for St. Nick to fill with goodies like oranges, chocolate coins, and candy canes is customary, you should consider doing so this year. The holiday has become personal to many families, and children look forward to receiving their own personalized gifts on St. Nick’s Day — such as handcrafted ornaments, vintage toys, Christmas-themed candy, and the Elf on the Shelf if they live in a family that celebrates the holiday. 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.
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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.

  1. St.
  2. In the third century, it was normal for fathers to make financial offers to sons who were considering marriage.
  3. The dowries of all three girls were paid for by St.
  4. As time progressed, numerous traditions for celebrating St.
  5. In Italy, this day was marked by feasts, gift-giving, and celebrations, among other activities.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

  • If you’re decorating for St. Nicholas Day, this would be a fantastic choice. To decorate your home for St. Nicholas Day, get a pair of inexpensive boots or upcycle an existing pair to create a unique décor that may be displayed in front of the fireplace

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 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.

  • 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.
  • The shoes will be filled with tiny treats when you wake up in the morning (candy canes, spare change, foreign coins).
  • The candy cane is also a representation of St.
  • Dress up your shoes with little candy canes or use them to adorn your Christmas tree!
  • Cookies for Sinterklaas A typical dessert on St.
  • Traditionally prepared in a form that resembles the shaking of St.
  • According to some traditions, St.
  • In this year’s calendar, what day does Christmas fall on?

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

A rich couple gave birth to a son named Nicholas in the 3rd century in the village of Patara in Turkey (at the time, it was a part of Greece). Nicholas was raised by his grandparents. An outbreak claimed the lives of both Nicholas’s parents when he was still very young due to circumstances beyond their control. Being reared as a Christian, he committed his life to service, selling all of his possessions and distributing the proceeds of his inheritance to the poor and disadvantaged. Nicholas rose to the position of bishop, and his reputation for assisting children, sailors, and other people in need spread throughout the world.

As a result, the Romans let the religious men to walk free.

His tomb was reported to have been filled with a liquid that possessed healing properties.

This and other Nicholas-related stories helped to build devotion to him and generated practices that are being observed today. Thanks to Photos.com/Thinkstock for the image. St. Nicholas brings gifts to youngsters on his nativity scene.

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.

  • Nicholas, and the scenario prompted the installation of stockings or shoes by the fireplace, into which gifts were to be deposited.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Learn More

Learn more about the roots of various Christmas customs by reading this article. Check out some of our favorite Christmas Dinner dishes.

St Nicholas Day in the United States

St. Nicholas’ Day is a European tradition that is observed on December 6 in some American towns, however it is not widely honored.

Is St Nicholas Day a Public Holiday?

St Nicholas Day is not observed as an official holiday in the United States. Businesses are open during regular business hours. Children’s gifts and food on St. Nicholas’ Day are plentiful. Photograph courtesy of iStockphoto.com/Dejan Ristovski

Celebrate St Nicholas’ Day

St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6, and children in families that observe the holiday get gifts – such as candies or cookies, tiny toys or fruit – in their stockings or socks, shoes or bags. On this day, several churches will have special services to commemorate the Feast of St Nicholas, which is celebrated on December 6.

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Public Life

In the United States, St. Nicholas Day is observed rather than observed as a federal official holiday.

About St Nicholas’ Day

The legend of St. Nicholas is based on the life of Nicholas of Myra, a fourth-century Greek bishop who served as a patron saint of children. Over the course of his life, he earned a reputation for gift-giving by stuffing pennies into other people’s shoes, which accounts for many of today’s Christmas customs that include hiding gifts in people’s shoes and boots.

The beliefs, rituals, and activities linked with St Nicholas’ Day were introduced to the United States by several European immigrants who settled in the country. During the early 1800s, events linked with the holiday were documented in cities such as New York, among other places.

About St Nicholas Day in Other Countries

Learn more about St. Nicholas Day by reading this article.

St Nicholas Day Observances

Despite the fact that we are carefully researching and updating our holiday dates, some information in the table above may be preliminary in nature. Please let us know if you discover an error on our website.

Who is St. Nicholas?

The actual narrative of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born in the third century in the hamlet of Patara in Asia Minor, and lived until his death in the fourth century. The location was Greek at the time, and it is currently located on the southern coast of Turkey. Nicholas’s rich parents, who had taught him to be a devoted Christian, perished in an epidemic when he was still a child, leaving him to raise alone. Nicholas followed Jesus’ command to “sell what you have and give the money to the poor,” and he utilized his whole inheritance to help the poor, the ill, and those who were in need of assistance.

  1. Bishop Nicholas was well-known across the country for his kindness to people in need, his fondness for children, and his care for sailors and ships, among other things.
  2. The jails were so overcrowded with bishops, priests, and deacons that there was no place for the true criminals—murderers, thieves, and robbers—to be held.
  3. He died on December 6, AD 343 in Myra, and was buried in his cathedral church, where a rare relic known as manna developed in his tomb, which is now preserved at the museum.
  4. The anniversary of his death has been commemorated as St.
  5. The life and activities of St.
  6. These narratives assist us in comprehending his exceptional nature and the reasons why he is so cherished and regarded as a defender and helper of those who are in need.
  7. In ancient days, a young woman’s parent had to provide something of value to potential spouses in the form of a dowry.

A lady was unlikely to marry if she did not have a dowry.

On three separate times, a mysteriously appearing bag of gold came at their home, supplying them with the dowries they need.

This resulted in the tradition of youngsters hanging stockings or laying shoes outside their doors in anticipation of gifts from Saint Nicholas.

As a result, three gold balls, which are frequently shown as oranges, are one of the emblems associated with St.

As a result, St.

One of the first traditions that depicts St.

On the eve of the holy saint’s feast day, the people of Myra were busy commemorating the saint when a gang of Arab pirates from Crete sailed into the area, causing chaos.

As they were about to leave town, they kidnapped a little boy named Basilios and sold him as a slave.

The next year, Basilios served the monarch by giving him wine in an ornate golden cup, which the king appreciated.

As the next St.

She was convinced, though, to have a small observance at home, complete with silent prayers for Basilios’s well-being and safety.

In front of the scared kid, St.

Imagine the delight and amazement on his parents’ faces as Basilios miraculously reappeared in front of them, still carrying the king’s golden cup.

Nicholas safeguarding children, which has since become his principal duty in the Western world.

A vengeful innkeeper stole and killed them, then concealed their bodies in a huge pickling tub for safekeeping.

In the middle of the night, he had a dream about the crime and woke up, calling the innkeeper.

French children’s literature tells the story of three tiny children who wandered away from their play until they became lost, seduced, and caught by a wicked butcher.

Nicholas arrives and implores God to bring them back to life and reunite them with their family.

Nicholas is known as the patron saint of children and their defender.

When he was young, Nicholas sought the sacred by undertaking a journey to the Holy Land.

When the ship was returning by sea, a powerful storm threatened to sink it.

It took the sailors by surprise when the wind and seas suddenly calmed, saving them all from certain drowning.

Nicholas is known as the patron saint of sailors and voyagers.

He performed several acts of kindness and generosity in secret, with no expectation of receiving anything in return.

As a result, he is revered in the East as a wonder worker, and in the West as the patron of a wide range of people, including children and sailors as well as bankers and pawnbrokers as well as scholars and orphans, laborers, travelers, merchants, judges and paupers as well as marriageable maidens and students as well as sailors and victims of judicial errors as well as captives, perfumers, and even thieves and murderers!

  1. He is well-known as a friend and protector to those who are in difficulty or in need (see list).
  2. Nicholas as their patron, traveled the world spreading legends of his favor and protection.
  3. Nicholas chapels were constructed at a number of seaports.
  4. As a result of his baptism, Grand Prince Vladimir I carried the tales of Saint Nicholas and the devotion to Saint Nicholas to his motherland, where Nicholas quickly rose to the position of most cherished saint.
  5. Nicholas’ grave in Myra became a renowned pilgrimage destination as a result of his death.
  6. The Italian towns of Venice and Bari competed for the relics of St.
  7. Sailing from Bari, a seaport on the southeast coast of Italy, in the spring of 1087, seamen were successful in removing the bones and transporting them to the city of Bari.

Nicholas’ crypt, an impressive church was built, and many faithful pilgrims made the journey to pay their respects to the saint, who had rescued countless people, including children, prisoners, sailors, famine victims and many others, through his compassion, generosity, and the countless miracles attributed to his intercession.

  • Throughout the years, Catholics and Orthodox have continued to respect and honor St.
  • St.
  • The legends of St.
  • Boys dressed as bishops begged alms for the poor in Germany and Poland—and sometimes for themselves, too!
  • Nicholas came in the Netherlands and Belgium on a steamer from Spain, where he rode a white horse on his gift-giving rounds.
  • Saint Nicholas is commemorated on the 5th of December, on the eve of the day before, by exchanging sweets (which are tossed through the door), chocolate initial letters, little presents, and riddles.
  • Nicholas’ horse, hoping that the saint will exchange the items for small gifts.
  • Who is St.
  • an analysis of the language on this page produced a word cloud To see a bigger version of this photograph, please click here.

Wordle.net was used to make this image. Henri Gheon’s Saint Nicholas, published by Sheed & Ward in 1936, with illustrations by Elisabeth Ivanovsky. Copyright courtesy of Elisabeth Ivanovsky, with gracious permission to use for the exclusive benefit of St. Nicholas Center. return to the beginning

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!

Celebrating St. Nicholas Eve on December 5th!

The 5th of December is St. Nicholas Eve, and the most recent update was made on December 5th. The first publication was made on December 5th. Make sure to take your shoes off to see what he has in store for you! As a child in elementary school, I enjoyed learning about all of the many Santa Claus characters from all around the world. The many diverse shapes he assumes, each with its own set of names and visual looks, were completely charming and added to the wonderful atmosphere of Christmastime.

What is St. Nicholas Eve?

Saint Nicholas, also known as Sinterklaas, is revered as the season’s gift-giver in many parts of the world, particularly during the Advent season. His feast day, known as St. Nicholas Day, is celebrated on December 6th. His nightly meetings with his sidekick Black Peter (also known as Zwarte Piet), his alter ego who wields coal for ne’er-do-wells who have not been so pleasant during the past year, take place on the eve of his day, on December 5. When children put their shoes outside on the morning of December 6th, they are hoping to find tiny surprises within.

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Nicholas Eve and Day is one of giving rather than receiving, honoring those who are less fortunate, and remembering that St.

When is St. Nicholas Eve?

The 5th of December is St. Nicholas’s Eve. On that night, children (but I believe everyone should join in the fun!) leave their shoes out (usually outside, but owing to the ravenous squirrels in our neighborhood, we make it an indoor tradition) in the hopes of finding some treats in the morning when they wake up.

What Goes in Shoes for St. Nicholas Eve?

The following are some instances of things one could discover in one’s shoes: Oranges or tangerines are frequently encountered (as well as in Christmas stockings) because they represent the gold balls that St. Nicholas used to throw to the children during the holiday season. I believe that, prior to the current day globalization of food, citrus fruits were in short supply throughout the winter months, making them a highly cherished delicacy. Orcandy canes, sometimes called candy croziers, are shaped like episcopal or pastoral staffs and are distributed as a remembrance of the kindness and generosity shown by St.

Gold coins, whether genuine or fake, represent the monies thrown through a window by St.

Occasionally, little toys or candies are also provided.

Nicholas was fantastic!

  • Chocolate St. Nicholas figurines
  • Spiced Speculaas Cookies
  • Windmill Speculaas Cookies
  • These St. Nicholas cookies were even included on Oprah’s Favorite Things list
  • And more.

Feast of St. Nicholas on St. Nicholas Day (December 6)

The Feast of St. Nicholas is celebrated on December 6. St. Nicholas Day commemorates the anniversary of the death of the true saint. A wide variety of traditional meals are available.

In the Netherlands, speculaes are a particular ginger cookie that is generally made in lovely molds, however this is not required. On their website, this amusingSpeculaasCookierecipe includes some further background information on St. Nicholas and the feast as well as a recipe for the cookies.

St. Nicholas Around the World

The rituals and traditions associated with St. Nicholas differ from one country to the next throughout the world. If you want to learn more about individual customs, check out this collection of traditions organized by nation, which includes information on how traditions are observed. Would love to hear more from any readers who actively participate in this tradition in their families or homes! Please contact me at [email protected] The original publication date was December 5, 2010.

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However, while almost everyone in the United States knows what Christmas is, one fun winter celebration 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 little surprise presents in shoes or stockings, is designed to reflect the giving spirit of Saint Nicholas, who served as the historical inspiration for our current version of Santa Claus! Festivities on St. Nicholas Day are highly widespread in European and eastern Asian countries, and it might be a fun new custom for you and your family to include into your holiday season.

Nicholas Day?

Small children, in particular, will delight in this surprise early visit from Saint Nick, while older children will appreciate learning a bit about the historical foundations of current 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.

Specifically, one narrative about St.

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.

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.

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.

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. Nicholas Eve, families gather to exchange presents.

A Lasting Legacy

The religious figure who served as Santa Claus’s inspiration is still revered today. Pilgrimages to theBasilica of St. Nicholasin Bari,Italy, continue to this day, according to the St. Nicholas Center, and he remains a model and symbol of leading a compassionate life.

Do You Know The Story Behind St. Nick’s Day?

The items and services listed below were chosen based on their merits rather than their ability to sell or advertise. A small compensation may be earned by Simplemost if you purchase any items or services from a retailer’s website after clicking on an affiliate link provided by Simplemost. When it comes to individuals who celebrate Christmas, this is the most wonderful time of the year for both children and adults. The grand finale takes place on December 25, but the season building up to the big day is half the enjoyment.


Not every family that celebrates Christmas celebrates the day of St.

Additionally, for many of these families, it serves as the “formal” start of the Christmas season.

What is the story behind it?


Nicholas Center, St.

He is the patron saint of children.

Nicholas’ Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, which means “Christmas in December.” According to history.com, the notion of Santa Claus spread around the world as a result of St.

Adobe Why did St.

What happened to him along the way?

Nicholas” for his children, might be credited with helping to popularize the holiday tradition.

Nicholas would soon arrive.” So why is it that St.

The feast day of St.

It was the Dutch children who started the practice of getting tiny presents from St.

Nicholas could drop the gifts in them.

So, how is St.

A lot of people still do things the old-fashioned way, such as leaving gifts in children’s shoes for them to find when they wake up in the morning.

Nicholas Center, like preparing cookie platters for people in need of a pick-me-up, hosting a neighborhood party, opening stockings packed with goodies on this day rather than Christmas Day, and committing little acts of kindness, to mention a few.

Nick ornament using a downloadable template, such as this one from Catholic Icing, to experiment with.

Nicholas spice cookies using this recipe from the Kitchen Stewardship website.

Sit on the couch and watch the Veggie Tales film “St. Nicholas: A Joyful Story of Giving,” which is available on Amazon if you’re in a sleepy mood. Celebrate St. Nick’s Day anyway you like; there is no right or wrong way to do it.

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