Saint Nicolas is the common name for Saint Nicholas, a Lycian saint and Bishop of Myra. He was born in the third century in the village of Patara. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving but is now identified with Santa Claus in the UK and USA.
Saint Nicholas Day is now mainly a festival for children in many European Countries, here's an idea of how its celebrated by our European cousins.....
Children and adults enjoy the parades and celebrations in every village on the 5th and 6th of December to welcome St Nicholas and his helper Zwarte Piet. Sinterklaas (the Dutch name for St Nicholas) rides into town on a white horse to visit the children and put gifts in their clogs.
In Germany he is known as Klaasbuur many children put a boot outside the front door, if they have been naughty it will be filled with coal instead of gifts :-(
In Spain however things are very different, the children leave thier shoes under the Christmas tree the night of January 5th and presents from the Three Kings appear the next morning. These days Papa Noel comes on the 24th December also!
Of course here in the UK our children have to wait until Christmas Eve to hang thier stockings up!
How lucky the children of Europe are that they have two days in which they can recieve gifts, but be warned children he knows if you have been bad or good - so be good for goodness sakes!
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