Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy St. Nick's

Through the centuries St. Nicholas has continued to be venerated by Catholics and Orthodox and honored by Protestants. By his example of generosity to those in need, especially children, St. Nicholas continues to be a model for the compassionate life.

Widely celebrated in Europe, St. Nicholas' feast day, December 6th, kept alive the stories of his goodness and generosity. In Germany and Poland, boys dressed as bishops begged alms for the poor—and sometimes for themselves! In the Netherlands and Belgium, St. Nicholas arrived on a steamship from Spain to ride a white horse on his gift-giving rounds. December 6th is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much of Europe. For example, in the Netherlands St. Nicholas' Day is celebrated with the sharing of candies (thrown in the door), chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles. Dutch children leave carrots and hay in their shoes for the horse, hoping St. Nicholas will exchange them for small gifts. Simple gift-giving in early Advent helps preserve a Christmas Day focus on the Christ Child. – from www.stnicholascenter.org

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this day!

BTW, in the Netherlands, riddles are not written, but poems. The poems often poke a bit of fun at the gift recipient.

Sincerely,
I lived in the Netherlands for many years.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous T.J.B. said...

Charming.

12:26 PM  

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