Saint Nicholas Day has been celebrated on December 6 of every year. It is the feast day of Saint Nicholas celebrated as a Christian festival. It is, of course, a day for the children who have waited for the whole year to receive gifts. Christmas wouldn’t begin without the start of this feast. Saint Nicholas is known for his reputation as a bringer of gifts, and the attendance of Mass or worship services. He is the true Santa Claus and Father Christmas. The feast falls early in the Advent season. The saint is well-known across many countries in different names like Belsnickle, Niglo, Pelznickel, and others. Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated all over the world as to symbolizes the act of gift giving for many.
“The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic. His giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.” – St. Nicholas of Myra
History of Saint Nicholas Day
The first observance of Saint Nicholas Day is unknown. It is observed in the Western Christian countries on December 5. It is the feast day of Saint Nicholas who was also called as the Nikolaos of Myra. Saint Nicholas was a historic Christian saint born at Patara, Lycia in Asia Minor. He lived during the 4th century and was also a Greek Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor. The history states that he had sold all his possessions for the sake of helping the poor people with money. He was grown to be a devout Christian, and he had dedicated his whole life serving the sick and suffering. During his lifetime he had developed a tradition of gift-giving by putting the coins in the shoes of other people. Even this form of culture accounts for many of the Christmas traditions till today. People have begun to leave the gifts in shoes or boots.
Saint Nicholas was raised by wealthy parents who died due to epidemic while he was young. On obeying the words of Jesus, “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas made his whole wealth to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He had dedicated his life serving God and was made as the Bishop of Myra while he was still a young man. He was greatly known throughout the land for his kindness and generosity. He had involved himself in helping for those in need, his love for children, and he cared for sailors and ships. He had died on December 6, AD 343 in Myra. The death anniversary of St. Nicholas was made as a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day.
There are so many legendary stories that revolve about St. Nicholas from around the world. All of them had later became a part of the inspiration for the modern day Santa Claus. It is widely believed that St. Nicholas visits each child to present them with gifts. So the kids would leave the carrots or hay in their shoes overnight which will be eaten by St. Nicholas donkey. St. Nicholas will take the hay and carrots for his donkey, and returns them with small gifts and treats for the children in the morning. The Day traditions include leaving the gifts in shoes or the exchange of small gifts. Traditionally, the celebration Day treats are left for those good boys and girls, and a twig or chunk of coal left for the naughty ones.
One another famous story goes that there was a poor man who had three daughters. He wasn’t able to get them married as he hadn’t had enough money for a dowry. On finding this, Nicholas had secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney one night. It had fallen into a stocking that had been left by the fire to dry. It made the eldest daughter to get married. Now the father decided to find out who had given him the money. Eventually, he caught Nicholas who again dropped in another bag of gold. Although Nicholas didn’t want to draw attention to himself, word got out, which made anyone who got a secret gift later to suspect that it was from him.
Other Celebrations on December 6
December 6 is also celebrated as
- Put on Your Own Shoes Day
- Mitten Tree Day
- National Miner’s Day
- National Microwave Day
- National Pawnbrokers Day
How to Celebrate Saint Nicholas Day
The best way to celebrate Saint Nicholas Day is by giving a surprise gift for the person you love. Take this celebration Day as an opportunity to know more in detail about Saint Nicholas. You can provide gifts and presents to people around you and make their Day a little more special. Educate your children about the importance of helping people who are in need. As there were so many magical and lesson teaching stories exists about Saint Nicholas, you can even tell them as their bedtime stories with the events of St. Nicholas. Arrange for a party and gather your friends and family, give them surprise gifts by camouflaging as Santa. Share your views and Saint Nicholas Day celebration photos on the social media using the hashtag #SaintNicholasDay.