Sixth Door

Why do we celebrate St. Nicholas Day?

December 6 is generally regarded as the anniversary of the death of St. Nicholas and is celebrated in memory of his good deeds. In the case of the figure of Nicholas, two historical figures seem to have merged: that of Bishop Nicholas of Myra from the 4th century and another Nicholas, Abbot of Sion, from the 6th century.

What is confirmed as historical: Nicholas distributed his wealth among the poor. The legends therefore reflect in particular his generosity, especially towards children. As .B. in the story of dowry donation: A poor man, who could not equip his three daughters with a sufficient dowry because of money shortages, was therefore forced to sell them into slavery. Nicholas, who heard about the emergency, threw gold into the family’s fireplace for three consecutive nights, falling into socks and boots hung to dry.

Over the centuries, this has developed into a common custom of secretly putting sweets in stockings or boots. St. Nicholas usually comes at night – then the children put up their shoes the night before to find them filled in the morning. In addition to this ‘anonymous’ distribution of gifts, there is a tradition of contemplation: St. Nicholas comes into the house, often accompanied by his servant Ruprecht, to determine whether the children were good. For kind children there are fruits and sweets, to naughty children Knecht Ruprecht distributes a rod…

Have you already looked in your shoes today?

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