Saint Nicholas Day on December 6, of course, has some connection to Christmas and Santa Claus, but there is much more to this holiday and Saint Nicholas than that.
Although Saint Nicholas partially inspired the Christmas and Santa Claus we all know and love, Saint Nicholas is actually derived from a different kind of tale. Let’s learn about Saint Nicholas and what this day is really about.
STORY OF ST. NICHOLAS DAY
Saint Nicholas derives from Nicholas of Myra and was a bishop in 4th century Greece. He was known for selling his own items and then giving the money to the poor. Usually, he left coins in people’s shoes and devoted his entire life to serving sick and suffering people. This is how he obtained his saint status, and it is what inspired the Day of Saint Nicholas (also commonly known as the Fiesta or Fiesta de San Nicolás).
A well-known Saint Nicholas story involves a dowry for the three daughters of a father. In the third century, it was common for parents to offer money to future spouses. However, a poor father with three daughters had no money to do this. Saint Nicholas paid the dowry for the three daughters by leaving gold in their shoes.
With the passage of time, Saint Nicholas Day began in different ways. In Italy, this day was celebrated with parties, gift giving and festivals. In other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, children left their special Saint Nicholas shoes or boots in front of the fireplace or front door at night and found gifts in them in the morning. The story of Saint Nicholas and his good works was part of the inspiration of the current Santa Claus and Father Christmas, so there are some current traditions of leaving gifts in people’s boots or shoes (or socks).
S T. NICHOLAS DAY SCHEDULE
270 AD – Saint Nicholas is born
Although he was not considered a saint at birth.
343 AD – Saint Nicholas dies
He was 73 years old and buried in Myra.
1087 – The bones of Saint Nicholas are moved
Italian sailors brought his bones to Bari, Italy.
1100 – Candy is excellent
French nuns began giving sweets and gifts to children in need on the day of the feast.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS OF SAINT NICHOLAS DAY
Whose Saint Nicholas is the patron saint?
He is considered the patron saint of sailors, children, merchants, thieves, and moneylenders.
When did Saint Nicholas die?
He died on December 6, 343 AD. at 73 years old.
Why do we celebrate Saint Nicholas Day?
Saint Nicholas Day on December 6 recognizes the 3rd century patron saint and the generosity he showed to those around him. He left such a lasting impact that over time his character inspired Santa Claus.
HOW TO CELEBRATE
Have a feast!
Saint Nicholas Day is also commonly known as the Feast of Saint Nicholas and is widely celebrated in Europe. To celebrate December 6, have a feast with your family and friends. There is nothing wrong with wasting some food for a day.
Help someone in need
Just as Saint Nicholas was known to do, a great way to celebrate this day is to follow in his footsteps and help someone in need. Donate to an organization that helps others, give money to someone in need, or help a friend or family member.
Decorate your own stocking or a special Saint Nicholas boot.
This would be a great decoration for Saint Nicholas day. Buy a cheap pair of boots or DIY an old pair and make them a unique decoration to sit in front of your fireplace for Saint Nicholas Day.
5 FACTS ABOUT ST. NICHOLAS DAY
Saint Nicholas was buried in a tomb in Myra
Water that is believed to have healing powers was formed, called Manna of Saint Nicholas.
He was born of Greek descent
He grew up in the town of Patara, on the outskirts of Myra.
Nicholas means “victory of the people”
This is the Greek meaning of the name.
He was one of the youngest bishops
He became a bishop when he was only 30 years old.
He was imprisoned by the Roman Emperor for seven years.
He was eventually released by Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor.
Why We Love St. Nicholas Day
It’s another excuse to eat
Who doesn’t love reasons to get together with loved ones and enjoy a hearty meal? Saint Nicholas Day is widely celebrated in this way, so start a new tradition with your family by enjoying a party on December 6.
Bring out the best in people
With a day about a historical figure who helped those in need, it’s hard not wanting to do something nice for yourself. Saint Nicholas Day reminds people to help others, as that is what Saint Nicholas did throughout his life.
Tradition is different everywhere
Something that is unique about Saint Nicholas Day is that it is celebrated differently everywhere. Italy celebrates with a party and other European countries celebrate with gifts hidden in their shoes. Everywhere has its own traditions on Saint Nicholas day and that makes it interesting.