04 December 2007

Local Holiday Time!

from About.com:
The real Saint Nicholas (Sankt Nikolaus or der heilige Nikolaus), was probably born around A.D. 245 in the port city of Patara in what we now call Turkey. Very little solid historical evidence exists for the man who later became the Bishop of Myra and the patron saint of children, sailors, students, teachers, and merchants. He is credited with several miracles and his feast day is Dec. 6, which is the main reason he is connected with Christmas. In Austria, parts of Germany, and Switzerland, der heilige Nikolaus (or Pelznickel) brings his gifts for children on Nikolaustag, December 6, not December 25. Nowadays, St. Nicholas Day (der Nikolaustag) on December 6 is a preliminary round for Christmas.

and from St. Nicholas Center:
On the evening before St. Nicholas Day (December 6 or, on the Julian Calendar, December 19), children put letters to the good saint along with carrots or other food for his white horse or donkey on a plate or in their shoes. These are left outside, under the bed, beside a radiator, or on a windowsill in hopes of finding goodies from St. Nicholas the next morning. During the night Sankt Nikolaus goes from house to house carrying a book in which all the children's deeds are written. If they have been good, he fills their plate, shoe or boot with delicious fruits, nuts and candies. If not, they may find potatoes, coal, or twigs.

So it sounds like we'll get two Christmases by being here now, and home by the 25th :)

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