When is St. Nicholas Day according to the new calendar: the origin of the holiday

Yulia PoteriankoNews
Starting from this year, St. Nicholas will place gifts under the pillow on December 6

This year, due to the transition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine to a new calendar, the favorite holiday of young Ukrainians, St. Nicholas Day, will be celebrated on a new date. It is no longer celebrated on December 19, as all church dates have shifted back by almost two weeks. From now on, gifts under the pillows will appear on the night of December 6.

OBOZ.UA tells how the holiday came about and how it is traditionally celebrated in Ukraine.

Where did the holiday come from?

The Christian saint to whom this day is dedicated is Bishop Nicholas of Myra. He is revered by the church as a miracle worker who performed many incredible feats during his life and after his death. These include the rescue of innocents sentenced to death and the liberation of prisoners. But most of all, St. Nicholas is revered for his help to the poor, especially for the way he saved the three daughters of a poor man from a terrible fate.

The father was unable to provide his daughters with a dowry, so the girls could not marry and would have to look for work or become prostitutes. The priest of the local church, who was the son of very wealthy parents, decided to secretly help the family. He took three bars of gold from his inheritance and for three nights came to the man's house, throwing his precious gift through the window into the girls' bedroom.

Later, the townspeople found out who saved the family from disgrace and got the priest appointed as a bishop. In honor of St. Nicholas, a holiday was later established, the main tradition of which was to give gifts to children. This must be done in secret so as not to destroy children's faith in miracles and God's blessings prematurely.

Traditions on St. Nicholas Day

Initially, St. Nicholas Day was a kind of reckoning day for children. Those who behaved well received a gift, such as sweets, toys, or new shoes. Those who were naughty were given willow branches, hinting that they would be punished for their bad behavior. Now this tradition has been abandoned, and gifts are given to all children.

On the eve of the holiday, it is customary for children to write letters to the saint. In these letters, they assure that they have been obedient, tried not to upset their parents, and ask for the gifts they dream of. This way, parents can learn more about their children's dreams.

St. Nicholas Day is considered the first holiday of the Christmas season, so some families set up a Christmas tree for it. Some decorate it right away, some gradually, and some on the eve of Christmas. But everyone can fill their home with the holiday spirit.

On this day, it is customary to bake special sweet cookies called "Mykolaychyky." They are made in various shapes, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and painted with icing. These cookies are given to children.

The holiday is also a special time for charity. In Ukraine, various collections for gifts for children without parents are opened. Anyone can join such a campaign.

There is also a popular belief that all the debts accumulated during the year should be paid off by St. Nicholas. There is even a saying: "If you don't pay it off by St. Nicholas, you will never pay it off." It is also a good time to make peace with anyone with whom you have quarreled.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA told whether the main Christmas tree of the country will be installed in Kyiv - the final decision has already been made.

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