Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Get your shoes ready... Belsnickel is coming to town!

Growing up, one of my most favorite days of the year was Belsnickel Day (sometimes called St. Nicholas Day), which is December 6. Belsnickel is actually Pelznichol, which translates to St. Nikolaus in a fur coat. On the eve of his feast day (December 6) and in preparation for Christmas, St. Nicholas comes around to all of the homes with children to check if they have been naughty or nice. Before going to bed, children leave a shoe or boot out for St. Nicholas, and he either fills it with candy and coins (if they have been nice) or with a switch and coal (if they have been naughty). In fact, the tradition of hanging stockings evolved from the tradition of leaving out shoes. Belsnickel/St. Nicholas Day is a fun tradition that has several variations. It is heavily practiced in Germany as well as German towns here in the U.S., for example St. Marys, PA, my hometown.

St. Nicholas was a great man, who was kind and loving. No wonder he became known as jolly old St. Nick (a.k.a. Santa Clause). To learn more about St. Nicholas the man and his feast day, December 6, click on any of the links below.


Blogger PAgirly said...

it was nice to read about "belsnickel", as most people i ask in the midwest do not know who he is! st. marys is also my hometown! :)

10:27 PM  

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