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St. Nicholas


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Today's Saint Nicholas Day is very popular with the kids here in Europe, at least in Catholic countries. Nicholas was bishop of Myra (Asia Minor) and died on December 6th. In Protestant countries, he became known as Santa Claus.

It is said that God rewarded Nicholas' generosity by allowing him to return to earth each year to bring gifts to well-behaved children. These gifts usually consist of sweets, fruits, nuts and stuff. In Austria, Saint Nicholas is related to Krampustag on December 5th. Krampus is a personification of the devil, with horns, rattling chains and long red tongue. His origins can be traced back to pre-Christian fertility demons.

Obedient children are rewarded by Nicholas (Nicolo, Nikolaus), whereas disobedient brats are scolded and threatened by Krampus. Believe me when you're five years old these stories can be pretty scary, lol.

Below a typical Nikolaus sweet made of prunes.

Child Abuse?

I always wondered where the tradition of the threat of putting switches or a lump of coal into a child's stocking (instead of candy and toys) came from.

After reading Thomas' commentary on Krampus, the lyrics to the following song take on another meaning:

You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list and checking it twice
Gonna find out who's naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

Oh! You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

p.s. At Christmas time I understand it is popular in Japan for people (even when not Christian) to have a "Christmas Cake," but X-mas trees are not prevalent due to the lack there of. I would be interested to know more about how Christmas is celebrated in Japan.
lol, that puts me in mind of another Christmas tune

When Santa got stuck up a chimney, he began to shout!
You girls and boys won't get any toys if you don't pull me out!
My beard is black! There's suet in my sack, and my nose is tickly too!!
When Santa got stuck up a chimney, atchoo:atchoo: atchoo:atchoo: atchoo:atchoo:

Well whats Christmas time without a song????? 👏
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