St. Nicholas Day
By BellaGrey Designs
Do you celebrate Saint Nicholas Day? We just started a few years ago and the kids love it. What is it you ask? The day is celebrated on December 6th, where children put a shoe outside their bedroom doors on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, with the hope to find candy, gold coins and maybe a small gift inside them. The story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in a village called Patara. His parents died in an epidemic while Nicholas was very young. Nicholas used his entire inheritance to assist the needy, sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to God and was made Bishop. Bishop Nicholas was known for his generosity to those in need, his love for children and his concern for sailors and ships. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th.
One particular story was of a poor man with three daughters. Back in those days a young woman’s father was supposed to offer prospective husbands something of value ~ a dowry. The larger the dowry, the better the chance a young woman would find a good husband. Without a decent sized dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry and be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home, which provided the much needed dowries. The bags of gold were said to be tossed in through a window and landed in stockings or shoes left by the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why three gold balls or oranges are symbols for Saint Nicholas.
Over the last few years we have tried to incorporate all the symbols associated with Saint Nicholas into our celebration at home. We start with the Miter, which is the hat Saint Nicholas wore, we make one out of construction paper and adhere it to a chocolate Santa along with a gold pipe cleaner or Crozier as his staff. Candy canes also represent the Crozier. Three gold balls or clementines can substitute the gold coins. This year, I made “gold coins” out of marshmallows and sprayed them with Wilton’s Gold Color Mist, the tutorial for this will come in a later post. They came out great! I can’t wait for the kids to try them. We will add two more bags of “gold” to the kid’s shoes this year as well. Rolos and Werther’s candies are two of their favorites.
We thought it would be fun to design a set of cupcake toppers or favor tags for this holiday that some may not even know about. To get your FREE download, click here!
Each tag represents a symbol for St. Nicholas Day:
- Candy Canes = St. Nicholas’ staff or Crozier
- Ship = St. Nicholas’ concern for sailors and ships
- Boots = Shoes the children set out for St. Nicholas to fill
- Saint Nicholas = Himself
- An orange = The three gold balls
- Flower = Just like life and beauty bloom from a simple bulb, we too want to grow in our hearts and bloom in our lives
- White Flower = The three young women from the story
- Gold coins = Dowry
- Anchor = Sailors and ships
- Bag of money = Dowry
We hope you have enjoyed learning about Saint Nicholas Day and will start the tradition in your family!
Styling + Design, Photography, Marshmallow “gold coins” ~Jennifer Kirlin, BellaGrey Designs
Be sure to keep checking back all week for more inspiration!