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Monday 6th December is St. Nicholas Day, a day dedicated to the Christmassy Saint who was the partial inspiration behind Santa-Clause.

Who was St. Nicholas?

St. Nicholas, also known as Nicholas of Bari and Nicholas of Myra is commemorated as one of the most popular saints in Churches, with the man himself being closely tied/ associated with Christmas.

St. Nicholas was known for being generous and benevolent which created tales around his name performing miracles for the poor. One of the said tales was that he gave gold as marriage dowries to three girls in poverty who otherwise would have had to turn to selling themselves.

It did not take long before Saint Nicholas to have people showing devotion to his name, even becoming the patron saint of Russia and Greece, as well as to many guilds, charities, merchants and many more. The people's devotion was so strong that many churches were built in his name. After the reformation, his presence however was waning around Europe –apart from Holland where the legend of Saint Nicholas still lived. However, the tales were changed slightly to fit the Nordic folktales, the name was even adopted and changed to Santa Claus.

This new legend is something you will be more familiar with, of a kind old man that would reward good children with gifts and punish naughty children (usually with a lump of coal in their stocking). From then it stuck as Santa being the image of Christmas.

You can see the similarities between St. Nicholas and Santa Claus, from being kind and performing gift-giving miracles.

You can use St.Nicholas day as an excuse to have a mini Christmas before the 25th December.

Have a Happy Christmas.