christmas-sockSo did you clean your shoes for today? When telling that Santa Claus (Mikulás) comes on December the 6th in Hungary, we usually get surprised looks. Some may even say: “Oh I knew he couldn’t do the whole world within one day”! How true 🙂 Even Joulupukki, the “original” Finnish Santa knows this and comes to Hungary every year at the beginning of December.

Why the 6th? It’s Nicolas’s nameday (Miklós in Hungarian). It used to be an official religious holiday paying homage to the then popular saint and bishop who lived in Myra, Asia. Legend has it he helped a poor family to be able to marry their daughters by throwing a bag full of gold into the house. Later students in Hungary would elect a bishop from among them and go around in the village to children’s home, asking them whether they were good or not and scaring them. So Mikulás was not always jolly and jovial…That children receive little presents comes from today’s Austria and Germany. Mikulás arrives with Krampusz (in Germany Knecht Rupprecht). Children’s boots await Mikulás on the windowsills and in the morning you can find orange, chocolate and little toys in them….

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