St. Nicholas

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Canada
St Nicholas with angels
St. Nicholas visits a classroom

R. F. Morrison Elementary School, Winnipeg, Canada, Permission pending
St Nicholas in classroom
St. Nicholas visits a classroom

R. F. Morrison Elementary School, Winnipeg, Canada, Permission pending

Many immigrant groups brought treasured traditions to Canada; Ukrainians and Dutch are among those who celebrate St. Nicholas. For Ukrainians, Christmas begins with St. Nicholas Day when young children receive small gifts from their patron saint, Nicholas.

Parishes and schools remember Nicholas' providing dowry money for needy young women by giving small bags of gold-colored coins to children. The children sing to welcome the saint, louder and more enthusiastically as they wait. The saint, on foot or by sleigh, comes dressed as a resplendent Byzantine bishop, accompanied by a troupe of angels. The angels help distribute goodies and small gifts.

Christmas Eve is a day of fasting, remembering Joseph and Mary's hardship traveling to Bethlehem.

Many Dutch immigrants came to Canada after World War II and settling especially in southern Ontario. Sinterklaas celebrations take place at many local Dutch shops and stores. In Grimsby, on the Saturday closest to December 5, Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet come to the store to visit with the children. Each child receives a little candy bag filed with chocolate, mini taai-taai, kruidnoten and pepernoten. It is a a great tradition that parents, grand-parents and children look forward to each year.

Please tell us of other St Nicholas traditions in Canada.


A Canadian St Nicholas Tale

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