Everything you need to know about St. Nikolaus day

Rosa Theesfeld

I am an exchange student from Germany. One thing I miss about home are our traditions and one of them is St. Nikolaus . On December 6 we celebrate St. Nikolaus day in Germany. In the legend, Nikolaus was a rich man who lived in the 4th fourth century in Turkey. One day he overheard a conversation of a father who had to sell his two daughters because he didn’t have enough money. Nikolaus wanted to help, and threw money into their yard. When the man found the money, he was very thankful and his daughters didn’t have to become prostitutes anymore. Since then, it has been a tradition in Germany to celebrate by giving gifts to people. Decades ago it was mostly a Catholic tradition, but now nearly all Germans celebrate it.

I love St. Nikolaus day. The day before St. Nikolaus I have to clean all my shoes while I listen to Christmas music. After cleaning, I pick my biggest shoe and put it outside our main door. The next morning I wake up earlier than normal then I go downstairs in  my pajamas. Me and my sister get super excited if Nikolaus or Knecht Ruprecht, that’s how some people call him, has already been there. Of course, Nikolaus has been there already because my mom is Nikolaus and she always makes sure that we don’t see her, but don’t tell my sister — she still believes that Nikolaus and Santa are real. Then we take our shoes and unpack them on the kitchen floor. In them there are mostly two small presents, a chocolate St. Nikolaus and a few walnuts.

This year I got new Christmas pajamas and my favorite bar of chocolate. I also celebrated in German class. We did Weihnachtswichteln (secret Santa) with socks and listened to some German Christmas songs. It’s a fun holiday celebrating the act of giving people something without getting praised for it.