St. Nicholas Cookies and Pierniczki
© Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Thousands of children across Europe and some parts of the United States woke up on Dec. 6 to find their shoe or stocking filled with oranges, tangerines, nuts in the shell and gingerbread, courtesy of St. Nicholas. But the saintly man believes in payback so naughty boys and girls may have received a lump of coal.
For Christians who follow the Gregorian calendar, St. Nicholas Day was celebrated on Dec. 6, but for Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar, it's Dec. 19. Many believe St. Nicholas to be the real-life predecessor of Santa Claus.
St. Nicholas on Parade
Flickr by Schumata
St. Nicholas Day is celebrated in many ways -- the saint may appear in red velvet robes, a bishop's mitre and crozier and lead a town parade on horseback or in a sleigh, and be the focus of a family party. But the real emphasis is placed on the saint's belief that doing for others is the faithful way to live.
If you issed celebrating on Dec. 6, here's your second chance. Get in the spirit of things on Dec. 19 and host your own St. Nicholas party:
How St. Nicholas Day Is Celebrated in Poland
St. Nicholas Day Cookie Pattern and Craft Ideas
Polish Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
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