St. Nicholas

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Luxembourg
St Nicholas on roller skates
2001 Luxembourg Christmas Stamp
St Nicholas Center Collection
St Nicholas chocolate figures
Chocolate in a shop display

During November, St. Nicolas, known as Klees'chen, comes to Luxembourg to check andseeif the children deserve any presents. He is also found in shops where children have pictures taken with him. For days and weeks before St. Nicolas Day on December 6th, children put their shoes or slippers on the windowsill or in front of their bedroom doors. During the night, St. Nicolas may drop chocolates or other sweets into the shoes as he travels around learning about children's behavior. He also visits school classrooms.

On the Sunday before his festival, towns and cities officially welcome St. Nicolas. In some places he arrives by boat to be met by the mayor and aldermen. They escort him to the town hall, where a crowd of happy, excited children beg in verse for bonbons. St. Nicholas gives each child a bag filled with apples, cakes, and bonbons.

St Nicholas with angel helpers
St. Nicholas (Klees'chen) with his angels
Photo: Luxembourg Tourist Office, London
Used by permission.

On the Eve of St. Nicholas Day, children put plates on the table for St. Nicolas to fill with sweets and treats when he comes with gifts. Hay is put under the table for the donkey who carries the toys and sweets. Nicolas is accompanied by angels or maybe Housécker (Black Peter or Père Fouettard) who brings a bag of switches. Nicholas' treats on the plates are sweets, chocolate, oranges, nuts and small gifts, such as socks, school supplies and small toys. Larger gifts are found under the table, today they might be Lego sets or even fancy electronics, as St. Nicholas Day is the primary day for gift giving.

Children discover their gifts in the morning, as Kleeschen is not usually seen. The day is so important that primary children have a holiday from school!

A special St. Nicholas tradition in Luxembourg is Boxemännercher, a local pastry shaped like a stylized man, representing Saint Nicholas. He may be decorated with pieces of chocolate or raisins for eyes and buttons. The figures are made of sweetened yeast dough just for Decmeber 6th, St. Nicholas Day.

Porte St. Nicolas, Remich
St. Nicolas, revered as the patron saint of fishermen and boatmen, stands on the gate that was once the main entrance into Remich. The town sits on the west bank of the River Moselle. The gate is now at the foot of the town, on the Esplanade.


Photo: Arthur Akkermans Flickr
Permission pending

Photos: K. Siereveld Wikimedia Commons, Public domain

American Saint Nicolas in Wiltz

Saint Nicolas is Back: Rodange

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