It’s St Nicholas Day over here in Germany today. If you aren’t familiar with St Nicholas Day and the story behind it, let me fill you in. St Nicholas Day or Nikolaustag, as we call it in Germany, is celebrated in most European countries, I believe, and it’s official date is the 6th December.
On the night of the 5th December, children all around the country clean their boots and put them near the front door hoping that they will find presents in them when they wake up the next morning. But who is St Nicholas and why does he bring presents?
The legend behind St Nicholas Day
The legend of St Nicholas is very similar to other legends in the aspect that there are lots of different versions of it. Some speak of St Nicholas as the patron of sailors and fishermen because he supposedly stopped storms at sea or corrected sails to save those at sea. Others say, he brought missing children back to their parents. No matter which legend you look at, they all focus on his love for children, his kindness and the miracles that have been attributed to him
The tradition of filling children’s boots probably goes back to the legend of St Nicholas and three unfortunate sisters. Despite having suitors, they couldn’t marry because their father, a poor nobleman, could not raise the money.
St Nicholas who was a bishop back then wanted to help without creating a big fuss about it, so he came up with an idea to give the money anonymously. When the first daughter was ready to marry, Nicholas threw a bag of gold into the house at night. He did the same thing for the second daughter but when it came to the third daughter, the girls’ father was determined to figure out who the generous gifter was.
Legend says that St Nicholas climbed on the family’s roof at night and dropped the third bag of gold down the chimney where it then ended up in a stocking that was hung up to dry. The news got out and from then on everyone who received an unexpected gift thanked Nicholas.
What did Amy get for St Nicholas Day?
Want to know what Amy got in her boot for St Nicholas Day? Check out the videos below. The first one is me showing you all the bits and pieces that I’ve picked up for her. The second one shows her this morning. She’s telling you exactly what she got – in the most adorable language mix…
Do you celebrate St Nicholas Day in your family? What did your kids find in their boots this morning?