It is practically a “professional” holiday of all children. It is marked on December 19. It could as well be a symbol of childhood.
The day is devoted to Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. This saint during his life became a symbol of mercy and sacrificial love. And yes, it's about the historical figure.
Fact 1: St. Nicholas was born in 270 CE
Nicholas was born in the 270 CE in Pttara. His parents were believers and raised their son in the Christian spirit. Nicholas lost his parents, barely reaching the age of majority. He used his heritage to help those in need.
For example, sometimes he would bring warm clothes, toys and food to poor homes.
Fact 2: St. Nicholas started to be compared with an angel
Nicholas started to be equated with an angel even though it was an ordinary man who did good things. He used gold from his heritage to help a girl from a poor family. She fell in love with a boy from wealthy family and they did not want to accept her.
He helped everyone he could. All his life, Nicholas dedicated to the God and helping those in need.
Later, he became a bishop.
Fact 3: Saint Nicholas not only helps children
He also helps students, traders, sailors and drivers. It is also believed that St. Nicholas saves people from the natural disasters.
Married women can also pray to him asking for a peaceful family life.
Fact 4: Presents depend on your behavior
We see this day as the one connected to children who patiently (or not too patiently) wait to find the gifts under their pillow. True, if the child was behaving badly all year, then Nicholas can hint at the need to change the line of behavior :). By putting there a whip, for example.
In reality, not many parents would decide to spoil the holiday for a child.
Fact 5: There are many various traditions
On this day in Czech Republic and Slovakia, person dressed up as Mikulás with long white beard accompanied by an angel and devil. This group visits houses at night on December 5.
Angel and Mikulás are giving presents and the devil ‘punishes’ bad children
According to an old Ukrainian tradition, the elder owners of the village gathered for a holiday to brew wheat beer. After the dinner, everyone rode on a sleigh around the village merrily singing songs. The children were given special cookies on this day - Mykolaychyky (Svyaty Mykolay is St. Nicholas in Ukrainian, - 112.international).
Throughout the territory of Ukraine, people also organized dinners in honor of Mykolay with ritual beer and honey.
In Kharkiv region, it was customary to celebrate the three-days of Mykolay holiday, on which people cooked kutia and uzvar, so that next year they would bring a harvest for rye and fruit.