St. Nikolaus' Day


6 December is Saint Nikolaus' Day!

In Germany, 6 December is an important day for children.

On the evening of 5 December, children place a boot or shoe outside their bedroom doors, hoping that Nikolaus will fill it with presents.

Look at the picture on the right. Who does Saint Nikolaus remind you of? That's right! - Santa Claus. That's because Saint Nikolaus and Santa Claus are based on the same person.

Who was Saint Nikolaus?

Saint Nikolaus was a bishop who lived in the 4th Century and became famous for his good deeds.

One story tells of how he secretly helped three poor sisters.

He didn’t want the sisters to find out that he was helping them, so he climbed onto the roof of their house and dropped three lumps of gold down the chimney.

In Germany, the story goes that the three pieces of gold fell into three shoes. This is the reason why kids in Germany get their presents from Saint Nikolaus in shoes.

In the UK, the story goes that the three pieces of gold fell into three stockings. That's why kids in the UK hang out stockings for Santa Claus!

Good and naughty children

St. Nikolaus will fill your shoe with presents - if you've been good.

For naughty children, Nikolaus has a helper, Knecht Ruprecht.

Instead of presents, Ruprecht puts a bunch of dry branches in bad children's shoes.

Words Ahoy! ยท Wörter Ahoi!

Deutsch English
die Schwestern sisters
das Geschenk present
der Schuh shoe