Is Nikolaus the same as Santa Claus?
Though they have similar outfits, Nikolaus is not to be confused with Santa Claus, who Germans call the Weihnachtsmann, or Father Christmas. They are two different people. In fact, many religious families try to focus more on Nikolaus earlier in December to ensure that Christmas is actually about Jesus’ birth, and not presents from an Americanized and commercialized Santa.
Who is Nikolaus, then?
Each year on December 6, Germans remember the death of Nicholas of Myra (now the Anatolia region of modern Turkey), who died on that day in 346. He was a Greek Christian bishop known for miracles and giving gifts secretly, and is now the patron saint of little children, sailors, merchants and students. Known as Nicholas the Wonderworker for his miracles, he is also identified with Santa Claus. Beliefs and traditions about Nikolaus were probably combined with German mythology, particularly regarding stories about the bearded pagan god Odin, who also had a beard and a bag to capture naughty children.
Why do children set their shoes out on the night of December 5th? Doesn’t he have any?
Of course Nikolaus has shoes. The custom began because the historical St. Nicholas had a reputation for leaving secret gifts, such as coins, in people’s shoes overnight. Kids traditionally put out their boots, though shoes or stockings will suffice for those without boots.
And the boots have to be polished first?
Definitely. Dirty boots are unacceptable. Children polish their boots to show they’ve been good. They usually place just one boot outside their door so they don’t appear too greedy, though.
One polished boot: Check! What happens next?
Read more or come by to our "Herrnhuter Sterne booth" at the Vancouver Christmas Market. The staff is happy to tell you all about their own experiences during their childhood in Germany. Even our brilliant "Herrnhut Stars" are a great tradition from long time ago. Find out more about the history and all available colors and sizes on our website www.mybrilliantstar.com.
Another round of the Virtual Toronto Gift + Home Market is awaiting us in August. As we are seeing many improvements and openings concerning Covid-19 restrictions, large scale indoor events, however, cannot yet take place in Ontario. Therefore, we welcome another round of the Virtual Toronto Gift + Home Market in August. MyBrilliantStar will take part again with a virtual booth and full online service. The show will be LIVE from August 9-12, however our online booth will be accessible for retailers far beyond the live show, from August 9 – September 3.
Happy Canada Day! Today on Canada Day, you will see it proudly flying throughout the country. Maybe you’ve waved a paper hand flag on Canada Day, or worn it as a pin on your jacket. Maybe you’ve even sewn one on to your travel backpack! Regardless of where you see it, the National Flag of Canada stands out both at home and abroad as one of the most striking and recognizable symbols representing Canada.