Sunday, 6 December 2009

St Nicholas Day

Before I came to Germany I didn't realise that here - and in many other European countries - Saint Nicholas is celebrated with a feast day held on 6th December.

In the Christian church St Nicholas is the patron saint of children, merchants, sailors and pawnbrokers. During his lifetime (270-346) this bishop of Myra (now a part of Turkey) was said to have given generously, and secretly, to the poor.

Here in Germany children put out their shoes on the eve of December 5th, hoping to find them filled with small gifts, such as chocolates or nuts, in the morning.

Homemade St NickApril decorated this bushy-faced St Nicholas figure at her German playgroup. On the quiet, the playgroup ladies filled it with goodies for today. Of course, April was delighted this morning when she found out that her figure had been turned into a receptacle for chocolates and they were all for her.

Our neighbours hold a 'St Nicholas Brunch' every Sunday closest to St Nicholas Day. So, once April was suitably high on sugar, we headed next door where we enjoyed great company and fabulous food. I think the boozing started before midday too. Cheers St Nicholas!

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