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.
Do you need some inspiration for this year's Easter decoration? An Easter decoration can be very versatile. Whether Easter bunnies, lambs or colorful eggs, classic, natural or modern: Here you will find the most beautiful Easter decorations for the holidays. Even our brilliant Herrnhut Stars often are part of it. Let yourself be inspired!
The Vancouver Christmas Market is finally back! Downtown Vancouver’s beloved holiday tradition returns for the 11th time from Nov 13 - Dec 24 to Jack Poole Plaza. One week earlier than usual, for less crowding and even more chances for everyone to attend. For many residents and visitors alike, a yearly stop over at the Vancouver Christmas Market has become a seasonal ritual. Also, a large number of vendors have been loyal to the market for many years.