Many people who read my blog realize that I spent 8 years in Romania. Romania has some very ancient Christian traditions. Tomorrow, December 6th, is an important day in Romania, so if you want to celebrate it, I will explain it to you. It is called St. Nicholas (In Romania, Sfantu Nicholai) day. The Romanians say that St. Nicholas and Santa Claus (In Romanian, Mos Craciun–pronounced Mosh Crachoon) are two different people. Santa Claus is an old rich man who comes on Christmas bringing toys to all the children, and St. Nicholas is his poor brother who also gives out gifts, but not as big and fancy as Santa gives out.
In Romania, there are two of these guys.
If you want St. Nickolas to come and see you, on December 5th, you must clean your shoes up! If you clean your shoes up and place them in front of the door in the evening, the next morning, you will find candy and fruit in your shoes. This is the advent of the Christmas season in Romania like in America where we think of the day after Thanksgiving as being the advent of the Christmas season.
This is another opportunity for the parents to be nice to their kids, but on a smaller scale than Christmas.
Clean those shoes up! You never know what you might get! 🙂
Even though we are Americans, my kids enjoyed this tradition very much when we were in Romania, and every December 5th, they did like all the Romanian children because they wanted the candy and fruit in their shoes too. They cleaned their shoes up and put them in front of the door waiting to find candy and fruit in their shoes the next morning. We thought it was a nice custom because what parents doesn’t want to be good to their kids? We complied and put candy and fruit in their shoes so they could wake up the next morning and have small gifts in their shoes like all the Romanian kids. It is a nice enough and cheap enough tradition that many around the world may like to adapt this tradition too.