Do You Celebrate St. Nicholas?

Personal Image - the fireplace is ready
@LadyDuck (207823)
Switzerland
December 6, 2016 7:21am CST
Today, December 6th, is St. Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas (Nikolaos) was a Greek Bishop of Myra (now a Turkish town). The Bishop was given the nickname of "Nicholas the Wonderworker", because he loved to give small gifts to the children. Later in time, Saint Nicholas, became the model of the modern Santa Claus, from the Dutch Sinterklaas. In Europe, we still celebrated mainly in the northern countries, with street parades and mulled wine. In our country, we have the tradition to light the fireplace in the evening to propitiate a good winter. Do you celebrate St. Nicholas? I have everything ready for our dinner by the fireplace.
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67 responses
@topffer (37792)
• France
6 Dec 16
In France, St Nicholas is celebrated only in the North and the East of the country, not in my area. The only tradition that I know around the fireplace is the tradition of the log of Christmas : it is a very large log lighted on Dec 23rd and that has to burn at least 3 days. In some areas, Christmas gifts were put at each end of the log.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
One of our French friends told us that in the North they celebrated St Nicholas, we never celebrated in the south. I have heard about the log of Christmas, I think that they do the same here in the North.
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@topffer (37792)
• France
6 Dec 16
@LadyDuck The log of Christmas tends to disappear. You need to have a very large chimney for it. New houses have rarely a chimney, and in my old house I have noticed that all the chimney ducts have been blocked.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
@topffer Here in the south is surely hard to find a very large chimney. The individual houses used to have a fireplace, but also this tradition is disappearing. As soon as they are going to pass the law to add special filters for the pollution, most people will ask to block the ducts, so to avoid further expenses.
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@crossbones27 (24057)
• Redlands, California
6 Dec 16
I think I have seen a movie or two when I was younger, but we never really celerbrated the holiday. I do not really remember them though. I might be getting it mixed up with Santas other name also. Anyway, if I was smart when I was a kid, I should of conned my parents to celebrate both holidays to get twice the presents.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
This is what the kids do here, tonight they put their clogs near the fireplace to receive candies and chocolate, then they will receive more gifts for Christmas.
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@DianneN (108801)
• United States
6 Dec 16
No, I don't celebrate it, but thanks for enlightening me more about the history. I've only heard the name. Today is our elder son's birthday. Enjoy your celebration!
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
Happy Birthday to your son. I say that I am not superstitious, but I am going to light the fireplace, better safe than sorry.
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@DianneN (108801)
• United States
6 Dec 16
@LadyDuck Thank you! There is nothing better than a fireplace and dinner beside it. I hope you have a good winter, too!
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
@DianneN I hope that it will not be a too white winter. The snow is fine if you go to a skiing station, not in the cities.
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• United States
6 Dec 16
No we don't celebrate that and I don't know anyone who does. As warm as it is I would hate to have to light the fireplace!
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
It has been pretty warm today, but now the cold is coming down. This is a northern European tradition, in fact Italy does not celebrate St. Nicholas, while it is celebrated in a norther city in Portugal.
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• United States
6 Dec 16
@LadyDuck You don't give gifts on this day do you?
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
@AbbyGreenhill The kids put their new clogs near the chimney and they find the clogs filled with candies and chocolates. The other gifts are for the day of Christmas.
@JudyEv (156055)
• Bunbury, Australia
6 Dec 16
We don't celebrate St Nicholas here although I do know the story about him.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
I think that this is not celebrated in the UK and so not in the Commonwealth countries. It is celebrated in some part of Germany, north of France, Holland and Belgium and here in Switzerland.
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@vickyrose (2035)
• Canberra, Australia
10 Dec 16
@LadyDuck that's why it's not celebrated in Australia
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
10 Dec 16
@vickyrose I believe that in Australia British traditions are more common.
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• Agra, India
6 Dec 16
Enjoy your st Nicholas day
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
Thank you, it's going to be a nice quiet evening by the fireplace.
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• Agra, India
6 Dec 16
@LadyDuck enjoy
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@Asylum (48157)
• Manchester, England
6 Dec 16
I have always been a strong admirer of Saint Nicholas, but the affection appears to be one sided. He has not visited me since my childhood days.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
I cannot believe that he never came to visit you. This is something that should be fixed. Have you written the little letter to Saint Nicholas? I have not, so I suppose I will get the usual nothing too.
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@Asylum (48157)
• Manchester, England
6 Dec 16
@LadyDuck I gave up writing because it proved to be futile.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
7 Dec 16
@Asylum It's Wednesday morning and I confirm that he did not come, but we had a nice dinner by the fireplace.
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@rebelann (46579)
• El Paso, Texas
7 Dec 16
I never really understood the root of the tradition but I used to love to get chocolate in my shoes. It is nice to know where that tradition came from, thanks.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
7 Dec 16
Many traditions come from the past, back in times when traditions passed from family to family and they reached our days.
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@rebelann (46579)
• El Paso, Texas
7 Dec 16
Very true @LadyDuck sadly though many people move far away from their roots and lose those traditions when they do, it has been very true of most USA families since the early 1950s.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
7 Dec 16
@rebelann Many Italians left Italy in the beginning of 1900, the reality is that there are more Italians who live outside Italy than Italians who live in Italy.
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@BelleStarr (42365)
• United States
9 Dec 16
No we don't celebrate St NIcholas Day.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
9 Dec 16
I imagined that this was not an American celebration. Only the northern European countries celebrate Saint Nicholas.
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@BelleStarr (42365)
• United States
11 Dec 16
@LadyDuck I, however, am not a typical American my mother was born in Quebec and my father's mother was British so I don't really have American Christmas traditions lol
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
11 Dec 16
@BelleStarr I was born in Italy, but I have lived with my husband in the south of France for 25 years and now we are in Switzerland from 10 years. We now have mixed traditions from the three countries.
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@shshiju (10465)
• Cochin, India
7 Dec 16
No we don't celebrate the day. It is very interesting that how Nicholas became Santa Claus.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
7 Dec 16
The name Saint Nicholas is written SinterKlas in Dutch, so you can see the similarity between SinterKlas and Santa Claus.
@shshiju (10465)
• Cochin, India
7 Dec 16
@LadyDuck yes very much. Is there any paintings of St.Nicholas? Want to know if he really resembles the Santa.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
8 Dec 16
@shshiju You surely know that the modern Santa is very different from the one who was depicted in the past, so this means nothing, because the modern Santa is from a designer and he resembles to the one make famous by Coca Cola. Here is an image of Saint Nicholas.
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@simone10 (21632)
• Louisville, Kentucky
9 Dec 16
No, we don't celebrate it here but it sounds like a great tradition and celebration.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
9 Dec 16
It's a nice day for children, because they receive chocolates and candies.
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@simone10 (21632)
• Louisville, Kentucky
10 Dec 16
@LadyDuck Can I be a child for the day because I really love chocolate and candies?
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
10 Dec 16
@simone10 I bought a couple of boxes of chocolates, they are for the Christmas holidays.
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@alberello75 (21268)
• Genova, Italy
6 Dec 16
I thank you for this information, I knew nothing about St. Nicholas celebration. However I do not think that on December 6, in Italy, uses this tradition. Perhaps in your part, in Switzerland is a custom?
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
7 Dec 16
No, in Italy we do not celebrate St. Nicholas, they do here in Switzerland because it's a northern German and Dutch tradition and most Swiss population is of Germanic origins.
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@alberello75 (21268)
• Genova, Italy
7 Dec 16
@LadyDuck Ah, ok, I understood, thank you
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
7 Dec 16
@alberello75 I think that we are the only ones (in Italy) to have "La Befana" who also brings chocolates.
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@MarymargII (11161)
• Toronto, Ontario
8 Dec 16
I would as it sounds wonderful and I like the history of this Saint as he relates to today's Santa Claus- and if I had a fireplace i would light it in his honour for sure. Now you must tell us about what happens in Milan for December 25- Christmas Day!
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
8 Dec 16
In Milan yesterday was a major holiday, St. Ambrose, the ancient Bishop of Milan and now Saint protector of the city. There is a Christmas market and yesterday evening the La Scala theater held the first Opera of the winter season with "Madama Butterfly" by Puccini. The Christmas day is more or less the same as in every western country.
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@MarymargII (11161)
• Toronto, Ontario
9 Dec 16
@LadyDuck Thanks for that- I love information like this- I did travel quite a bit to Europe when I was younger and visited and spent time in Italy- although the southern part but love to learn about Christmas traditions. So Christmas day is turkey? and gifts and Santa for the little ones?
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
9 Dec 16
@MarymargII NO Christmas day is not turkey in Italy. As I already said in another comment, in the north is a four courses lunch with antipasti, tortellini, stuffed Capon, or cotechino sausage with lentils, salads, fruits and desserts. I think in the south the eat fish, every region has different habits. The gifts are left under the tree by "Baby Jesus" (and not Santa) the night of the 24.
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@dpk262006 (56638)
• Delhi, India
7 Dec 16
Thanks for sharing. It sounds as an exciting event and to rejoice something. We do not celebrate St. Nicholas.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
7 Dec 16
It's a northern tradition and I never celebrated when I was young, because we do not celebrate in Italy. It has been a nice dinner by the fireplace. I like to follow the local traditions.
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@dpk262006 (56638)
• Delhi, India
8 Dec 16
@LadyDuck - It is good for a change from routine life. Festivals brings cheerfulness in our life and it is good that you have been following local traditions.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
8 Dec 16
@dpk262006 I think that the best way to feel "integrated", is to follow the local traditions.
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@SIMPLYD (88317)
• Philippines
7 Dec 16
No we don't have that , Though , he is so acknowledged because parents make their children believe to be always good so at Christmas time they will receive nice gifts (which they themselves put on the Christmas tree base ) from Santa Claus.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
7 Dec 16
In our Catholic tradition is not Santa Claus who brings the gifts the night of the Christmas eve, but Baby Jesus. Santa Claus is more an American tradition.
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@SIMPLYD (88317)
• Philippines
7 Dec 16
@LadyDuck Oh that's what it should be indeed . So , we adapted the American tradition after all.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
7 Dec 16
@SIMPLYD Most of the modern traditions are pagan traditions and the spirit of Christmas is long time lost.
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@Happy2BeMe (87102)
• Canada
7 Dec 16
Very interesting. I never knew that. Thank you sharing this with us and enjoy your dinner by the fireplace. It sounds wonderful.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
7 Dec 16
I made a wonderful fire, I was surprised how good it was, all the logs have burned, we had a very nice dinner.
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@Happy2BeMe (87102)
• Canada
7 Dec 16
@LadyDuck Oh very nice! I am so glad you enjoyed it!
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
7 Dec 16
@Happy2BeMe We should eat there more often, it's a cozy room of the house.
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• United States
6 Dec 16
No, I don't but I learned something new for today. Happy holiday to you!
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
Thank you, I am ready to light the fireplace, I hope not to miss it.
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• United States
6 Dec 16
@LadyDuck Your fire place is beautiful with your tree decoration :)
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
6 Dec 16
@infatuatedbby Thank you, I have decorated this morning.
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• United States
24 Dec 16
No, I never have, but my fireplace is clean as a whistle and ready for a fire. I just haven't lit it yet.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
24 Dec 16
We have lit the fireplace the night of St. Nicholas, now the temperature is warm for the season. May be tonight I am going to light it again.
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• United States
25 Dec 16
@LadyDuck Since it's going to be 84 degrees F on Christmas day, I'm not going to light the fire. I hope it's cool enough for you to enjoy one.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
25 Dec 16
@Jeanniemaries Yesterday evening it was cool enough for the fire, today at noon will be too warm, we are in the high 50's and it is very warm for the season here.
@Bluedoll (16985)
• Canada
8 Dec 16
That picture is so pretty. Never heard of anyone celebrating St. Nicholas day before. Thanks for sharing it.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
9 Dec 16
Thank you, I decorated a bit for Christmas, only a few things, but at least to feel a festive mood. This is a northern European tradition, I think that it did not cross the Atlantic. Your new avatar is cute.
@Bluedoll (16985)
• Canada
9 Dec 16
@LadyDuck Yes something now I can say I learned which might be the only way I will learn because I many not read, meet people or ever visit Europe so thanks for sharing. The avatar looks like my bird Molly.
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
9 Dec 16
@Bluedoll Molly is a cute bird, I like birds, I only had a young Mallard duck as pet.
• Preston, England
8 Dec 16
@LadyDuck sounds as though his day should be Christmas rather than the 25th
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
9 Dec 16
In fact the 25th should not be the "Santa" day, but the nativity of Jesus, but this is something that we seem to have forgotten importing habits from the USA.
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• Preston, England
9 Dec 16
@LadyDuck a date never mentioned in the Gospels - it was chosen as many pagan traditions already celebrated at that time
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@LadyDuck (207823)
• Switzerland
10 Dec 16
@arthurchappell You are right, even the 25th of December was chosen as the day to celebrate, but nothing proves that this date is exactly the day he was born.
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