Saturday, 6 December 2008

6 December - St Nicholas Day

Today, Saturday 6 December, is the feast day of one particularly well-known Christmas saint, Saint Nicholas.

Saint Nicholas was a fourth-century bishop of Myra in modern day Turkey and is the patron saint of children, amongst other things including seafarers. In countries like the Netherlands, and its European neighbours, 6 December is the day when Saint Nicholas delivers presents presents and sweets to well-behaved children (rather than on Christmas Eve as Father Christmas does in this country).

I happened to go to Myra some years ago and visited the Church of Saint Nicholas. (St Nicholas' also happened to be the church I went to as a child.) The image which will always remain with me is that of the statue of Saint Nicholas, in full Christmas regalia, in the baking Mediterranean sun. Very festive!

Ho, ho, ho.

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