The history of the festive Saint Nicholas celebration is complex and reflects conflicts between Protestantism and Catholicism. Since Nicholas was a canonised saint, Martin Luther replaced the festival that had become associated with the Papacy with a Christkind ("Christ child") celebration on Christmas Eve. The Nicholas celebrations still remain a part of tradition among many Protestants, albeit on a much smaller scale than Christmas. The Protestant Netherlands, however, retain a much larger Saint Nicholas tradition. Many Dutch Catholics, on the other hand, have adopted Luther's Christkind.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Are your boots polished?!
Are your boots nice an shiny? Ready for your chocolate coins, candies, fruit and nuts? Tonight is the night! Need more information? (photo from thelocal.de site)
Wikipedia says: St. Nicholas Day, usually on December 6, is a festival for children in many countries in Europe related to surviving legends of the saint, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts. The American Santa Claus, as well as the Anglo-Canadian and British Father Christmas, derive from these legends. "Santa Claus" is itself derived from the Dutch Sinterklaas.