A quiet evening, when we tell beautiful stories to the little ones and convince them that if they are good, Santa will come to them. Every night from December 5th to 6th, Santa puts in ice-cream presents for the kind children. It is said that those who were not listeners leave a silver lining.
Unlike Santa, Santa Nicolae never shows up when he brings gifts.
We celebrate Saint Nicholas' day with songs and thematic poems or we draw and color plaques with Santa Nicolae, who sneaks with the bag full of gifts. It is important for the little ones to understand that this holiday does not involve substantial gifts, as is the case with Christmas, but only some symbolic gifts.
Who is Santa Nicolae?
Saint Nicholas or Santa Nicolae is known as the protector of those wrongfully accused, of the merchants, travelers, unmarried girls, brides and especially young children. This is also the holy protector of Braila, possibly due to the fact that, being a port city, there were often many traders and travelers.
There is no clear information on who Saint Nicholas was, this being the first time mentioned as the saint who appeared to him in a dream to Constantine the Great, to ask him to forgive three hostages whom this emperor sentenced to death. Later, all the biographical data concerning Saint Nicholas were mentioned in the Golden Legend, of Jacob de Voragina, in 1264.
Saint Nicholas is celebrated in the Byzantine, Latin, Lutheran and Anglican calendars on December 6th.
Customs of Saint Nicholas
In American traditions, children leave on a table a glass of milk and a plate of cookies for the tired and hungry Santa on the road.
It is not known exactly where the custom of putting gifts in pans comes from, but most likely it is a modification of the idea that Saint Nicholas is a protector and a lover of children, who did charities and kindness towards them, offering them in gift clothes, sweets and items they needed.
According to legend, the gift was allowed to fall through the oven, in a hanging sock to dry it, but the habit of putting socks to the fireplace is related to Santa, not to Santa.
The legend of Saint Nicholas
Legend has it that three sisters, the daughters of a poor nobleman, could not marry because of the poverty in their family. It is said that when the eldest daughter arrived at the time of her marriage, Nicolae, already a bishop, left a yellow bag at the door of the noble's house.
The story was repeated just as the time of maritis for the second girl came. When it came time for the third girl, the nobleman stood guard to find out who was doing the right thing for his girls. That night, the nobleman stood guard and saw him. It is said that Saint Nicholas climbed the roof and let the sack through the house's stove, in a dry sock, which is why the habit of hanging fireplace socks appeared.
After the father of the girls saw the events, Nicolae asked him to keep the secret, but he did not resist the temptation to tell further. Since then, anyone who received an unexpected gift thanked Nicolae for him. The three bags of gold gifted to the noble girls became the symbol of Saint Nicholas in the form of three golden balls (in the western iconography).
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