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St. Nicholas Day – big tradition of gift-giving

St. Nicholas Day is a popular holiday in Europe when children are given little presents for their good behaviour throughout the year. Let’s find out how this day is celebrated in European countries.

Santa Clauss

On St. Nicholas Day, as legend has it, Nicholas the Wonderworker sneaks into people’s homes and gives out his gifts. St. Nicholas’ Day opens a series of winter festivities before Christmas. We, at Exeno, are huge fans of that day because there is a wide array of products available in our store that will make perfect presents for this special occasion, and we truly love bringing joy to our customers’ homes. 

History of St. Nicolas

The legendary figure of St. Nicholas comes from Nicholas of Myra, who was a bishop in Greece in the 4th century. During his lifetime, he acquired a reputation as a gift-giver by slipping coins into people’s shoes. This accounts for many contemporary Christmas traditions like leaving gifts in shoes, boots or Christmas stockings.

​​St. Nicholas of Myra is a popular Christian Saint among children across Europe because of his reputation as a bringer of gifts. Both the North American Santa Claus and the British Father Christmas ‘inherit’ this St. Nicholas’ legendary role. In some countries, St. Nicholas gift-bringing character has its rivals: a creature or a person that punishes misbehaving children. In Austria, Santa Claus is accompanied by Krampus – half-goat, half-demon. In the Netherlands, on the other hand, his sidekick is Zwarte Piet (Black Peter). 

Traditions of St. Nicolas Day

St. Nicholas Day is a children’s beloved holiday in various corners of Europe due to the share of gifts. Several days before December 6th, children put their shoes or St. Nicholas’ special boots near the fireplace or the front door at night and find them filled with small presents the next morning. On the eve of St. Nicholas’ Day or December 5th, they usually get a greater number of gifts. 

Children also write letters for St. Nicholas and leave them at the front door with carrots or grass for his donkey or horse. 

To keep the tradition alive, browse through a rich assortment of playthings at the Exeno store, and you’ll find plenty of items to buy for your child for this holiday: dolls and plush toys for little kids, LEGO for their older brothers and sisters and something for grown-up kids that would be delighted to take part in the festivities of St. Nicholas’ Day. 

St. Nicolas names in different countries

St. Nicholas is referred to by many names all across the world. For example, it is Sinterklaas in the Netherlands, Nikolaus in Germany. In Italy, gifts are distributed by The Witch Befana on the Feast of the Epiphany. In Denmark, a gift-bearer is called Julemanden (or Christmas Man). 

The Dutch brought the tradition to New Amsterdam (the present-day New York City) in the American colonies, where St. Nicholas was transformed into Santa Claus. The resulting image of Santa Claus in the United States was formed in the 19th century and has ever since stayed the patron of the gift-giving festival of Christmas. 

In Japan, Santa Claus is called “Santa Kurohsu”. This Santa character is believed to have eyes in the back of his head to watch the naughty children closely.

Become a Santa Claus for your loved ones! Don’t miss the last chance to participate in the Crypto Weeks and get wonderful presents for the upcoming holidays at the Exeno store. Let’s create a festive mood together!

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