Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s… just about everyone is familiar with holidays like these, and the fun traditions that go along with them. But, there’s a lot more to "the holidays" than you might think. In this post, we’ll explore the history and traditions of one of the lesser-known holidays, Saint Nicholas Day.
Do you know about Saint Nicholas Day?
Saint Nicholas Day is an annual celebration honoring the life of a 4th century saint who was known for giving secret gifts. But, not the kind of gifts you wrap with fancy paper and put under the tree. According to some versions of the story, St. Nicholas loved to place coins into people’s shoes on the eve of his celebration day. It may sound silly now, but many believe this tradition is why we still hang stockings over the fireplace on Christmas Eve.
St. Nicholas and the Santa Claus connection
Due to his generous gift-giving spirit, Saint Nicholas eventually came to be known as the man in red himself. Yup, Santa Claus! But let’s look a little bit deeper. Santa’s modern name actually comes from the Dutch name, "Sinterklass". And, this name was itself derived from a variation of the name "Saint Nikolaos". So there you have it: Santa Claus is more than just a story!
Sweet ways to celebrate St. Nicholas Day
Alright, enough history. Let’s talk about how you can celebrate Saint Nicholas Day with your kids. The most common way to celebrate this holiday is very simple. Here’s what to do: On the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, December 5th, tell your children the story of St. Nicholas and his tradition of putting gifts inside people’s shoes. Just before bedtime, place your child’s shoes outside the bedroom door. While your kids are sleeping, fill their footwear, not with coins, but with yummy chocolate from us! When the kids wake up the next day, they’ll be delighted to see all the delicious goodies left for them by old St. Nicholas.
Saint Nicholas Day is December 6th, so hurry to our Brussels store to find the perfect gifts for your little ones! Or, shop online now and start crossing off the remaining names on your "nice" list.