Tuesday, December 04, 2007

la Fête de Saint Nicolas

On the Eve of December 6th, many children in
Europe will be chanting;
St. Nicholas, mon bon patron,
Apportez-moi beaucoup de bon-bons
Plein mes bas et mes souliers:
Je serai sage toute l’annee
St. Nicholas, my owner,
bring me lots of candy
Fill the bottoms of my soles:
I will behave all year
French children will place their shoes near the
chimney tomorrow night, in hopes that
St. Nicholas will bring them gifts.
St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, (now known as
Demre, Turkey), lived in the third century.
Born to wealthy parents, he used his inheritance
to help the needy.
Throughout the centuries many stories have
been told of his life and deeds. These legends
will be passed to younger generations, as
families across the world gather on December 6th.
The most famous story tells of a poor man with
three daughters. In those days a young woman's
father had to offer prospective husbands something
of value( a dowry). Without a dowry, a woman was
unlikely to marry. This poor man's daughters, without
dowries, were therefore destined to be sold as
prostitutes. Mysteriously, three bags of gold
appeared in their home, providing the needed dowries.
The bags of gold, tossed through an open window,
are said to have landed in the shoes left before the
fire to dry. This led to the custom of children putting
out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas.
Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of
bags of gold.
And so St. Nicholas is a gift-giver and becomes the
Patron Saint of children.
December 6 will bring many celebrations in honor
of St. Nicholas.
One of the largest celebrations will be held in
the village of St. Nicholas de Port, in Lorraine.
There will be a parade, music, religious ceremonies,
fireworks, and of course, the magical arrival
of St. Nicholas.
Statue on the front of the Basilica.
See the three children?
In honor of St. Nicholas and in the
spirit of the season, I think we
should also celebrate December 6th
and give to a child in need.
Gather around your fireplace this Thursday
and tell your children and grand-children
the real story behind Santa Claus.
If you would like additional information
you can visit these sites.
Have a Wonderful St. Nicholas Day!


The Paris Apartment said...

Thanks for the history. I never knew any of that!

Mélanie said...

Thank you for this post about St Nicholas .
In the south of France , we don't celebrate him but we know all the story

Anonymous said...

Oh, to have such chivalry today! I love to learn the history behind the holidays. . .it puts it all in a very different perspective!

Merci' for "le link"!


Southern Heart said...

What a lovely and interesting post! I learned something new today, and the visuals are just beautiful!

Joan said...

I just love St. Nicholas Day! I learned about the custom as a child living in Frankfurt, Germany. The holiday holds such wonderful memories for me!

Joan said...

I just LOVE St. Nicholas Day. I first learned about it as a child living in Frankfurt, Germany. The holiday holds such wonderful memories for me!

bluestocking said...

Since the Feast of St. Nicholas is also my birthday, I've been aware of the old boy as bringer of gifts and predecessor of Santa Claus (for what is "Santa Claus" but one version of "Saint NiCHOLAS"? Love having the day I entered the world associated with this particular holy figure. Since his feast day is usually much taken up, for me, with whatever I'm doing to celebrate my birthday that year, I make sure he gets his share of the credit by always mentioning the Feast of St. Nicholas to whoever asks the date of my birthday and to whoever all is celebrating the occasion with me.

P.S. Blog Moderator, pls. feel free,if you like, to post the comments above on my behalf as a response to your Victoria Forum thread on St. Nick. I'm signed up but as yet unable to post there, the approval process being, as we know, a slow one.

euroantiquer said...

Well, bon anniversaire bluestocking!
Have a wonderful day
and Happy St. Nicholas Day to all!