St. Nicholas Day at our house (part I) / Den Svateho Mikulase u nas doma (cast prvni) - CzechmatediarySt. Nicholas Day at our house (part I) / Den Svateho Mikulase u nas doma (cast prvni) - Czechmatediary
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St. Nicholas Day at our house (part I) / Den Svateho Mikulase u nas doma (cast prvni)

Did you folks have a good St. Nicholas day? For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, here is an update on this guy:

CZ: Jak jste oslavili v cizine den Svateho Mikulase? Meli jste besidku? A co deti? Rvaly??? 

Nejdrive si pripomenme, kdo ten Svaty Mikulas vubec byl:

St. Nicholas was a 4th-century Catholic Saint and a Greek bishop from Myra (today’s part of Turkey) who had a reputation for a secret gift-giving, leaving coins in the shoes for those who left them out for him. That is why up to this day many countries around the world celebrate this day in similar demeanor. The trinity of Saint Nicholas, the angel, and the devil walks in the streets, looking for little children to give them presents. Once they encounter one, the ‘victim’ is asked if he/she had been good all year. The child usually says ‘yes’ because he is a/ afraid of the scary devil who may take him to hell b/wants presents from St. Nicholas. But St. Nicholas usually checks with the parents. If the parents’ response is different from the child’s response then it’s the devils turn to scare the child for his naughtyness. He usually shakes his iron chain, makes devil noises and shows the child his big sack that he carries on this shoulders and threatens the child to take him away to hell in it. The victimized child usually starts weeping profusely. Sometimes the devil goes as far as taking the child behind the door (if the event is in the closed out area, like a pre-school class) to pretend in front of the other kids that he, indeed, took the child to hell. Pretty hard-core stuff here we are talking about…especially when you are like 5 years old.

What happens next? After about 5 minutes the devil comes back with his battered-but-alive victim, then the St. Nicholas or the angel proceed to tell the children that this time they are not going to take him to hell but if he is naughty next year, he will REALLY end up in hell. Now the good part is coming. To redeem himself the naughty child sings a song/rhyme to the Saint Nicholas  and then the angel pulls a gift from his fancy basket (NOTE: if the child has not been naughty all year according to him AND his parents then he is not terrorized by the devil). Such gift usually consists of some chocolate, candy and fruit such as tangerines or bananas. During the communist times, one could get ‘fancy’ items such as a can of Coca-Cola or a chocolate egg Kinder Suprize, which were unattainable in a regular stores.

How did we celebrate the St. Nicholas here in the US? Was anyone taken to hell?? You will find out next time!


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7 comments… add one
  • Jodie December 12, 2012, 6:06 pm

    Were any children permanently scarred after being taken by the devil? Scary stuff!

  • Tanja December 12, 2012, 9:37 pm

    Somehow we all survived and still end up having good memories from all this:)

  • Greg December 14, 2012, 10:38 am

    Now i know why I turned out the way I did. 😉 Anyone have a devil outfit I can borrow to scare my three year old who doesn’t listen lately? =)

    Thanks for the story Tanja, my wife and i were just talking about this last week and how the devil fit into the story. I’ll have her read this.

    Vesele Vanoce to all reading.

  • Tanja December 15, 2012, 3:16 pm

    The devil costume….no matter how ‘friendly’ you make him look the kids are terrified of him

  • Greg December 16, 2012, 11:28 am

    I’ll stick with St. Nicholas and the Angels. I’ll skip scaring my son with a devil outfit. He already thinks there are monsters in the closet in his room, don’t need to add a devil to the mix. We’ll never get any sleep then. =)

  • Sarka December 17, 2012, 4:55 am

    Možná že nás ty scénky s čerty zocelily? 🙂 Nemám dojem, že by to mělo na mě nějaký negativní účinek 🙂

  • Katkazameriky December 20, 2012, 8:01 pm

    My husband told me how he and his friend tricked his much younger brother into giving up the pacifier by playing the angle and devil on this holiday.

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