Saint Nicholas is celebrated in numerous countries in Europe on December 6. Saint Nicholas is the patron and protector of small children. The legend of Father Christmas was derived from the legends surrounding the life of Saint Nicholas.
Saint Nicolas was inspired by Nicolas de Myre also known as Nicholas of Bari. He was born in Patara in Asia minor between 250 and 270 J – c. He died on 6 December, 345 or 352 in the port city of Myre in Asia Minor.
After his death, St. Nicolas fueled a multitude of stories that reflected his generous personality. He is one of the saints most represented in religious iconography.
Saint Nicholas provides for children the opportunity to receive gifts three weeks before he visits every chimney in the world. On the eve of Saint Nicholas, small children place their shoes by the hearth before going to bed. Next to their shoes, they will place a carrot and sugar cubes for Saint Nicholas mule as well as a glass of wine to warm the great Saint.
Starting in the 12th century, it is said that Saint Nicolas, disguised, goes from House to House on the night of 5 to 6 December to ask the children if they were obedient. Good children receive gifts and sweets while bad ones receive coal or stick provided by of St. Nicholas’ companion. (Père Fouettard in France) Continue reading