Around the World

St Nicholas with children on world
Saint Nicholas is beloved all over the world. Customs vary, the day he comes varies, whether he brings simple fruit and candy treats or larger gifts, varies. Yet everywhere he embodies love and care, especially for children and those 
in need.

St. Nicholas Customs Around the World

St. Nicholas customs from forty-two countries show how in some places he is the major gift-giver, in others he is primarily a religious figure. Read about the many delightful traditions that have grown up around this special saint.

Who Travels with St. Nicholas?

A variety of characters accompany St. Nicholas in different places. They define and reflect the varying traditions that have grown up around this saint.

St. Nicholas and American Christmas Customs

Waves of European immigrants brought cherished St. Nicholas holiday traditions. How have these influenced today’s popular holiday customs in the United States? What echoes and can remind us of Saint Nicholas?

St. Nicholas Festivals

Some of the major St. Nicholas festivals around the world

Rescuing St. Nicholas from Santa Claus

As American Santa Claus spread around the globe active movements have developed in several European countries to keep traditional customs and gift givers from being overshadowed by Santa Claus.

“Saint Nicholas” in Many Languages

Since Saint Nicholas is in so many different places, he is named in many languages. Here are fifty names for St. Nicholas in thirty-two languages. How many do you recognize?

Visits from Saint Nicholas

See St. Nicholas visits from different countries: in churches, schools, and homes. If he visits your special place, do send photos and we’ll post them. It is interesting to see how others celebrate.

Boy or Youth Bishops

The medieval St. Nicholas Boy Bishop custom has been revived in a number of places. Only now, it isn’t just boy bishops, as girls also serve. Some places still select a “Boy Bishop” though others have renamed the custom “Youth Bishop.”

St. Nicholas Statues and Images in Public Places

St. Nicholas isn’t just for churches. His image is present in public venues, too. Some are old, others new.

St. Nicholas Societies & Organizations Around the world

In another section

Find St Nicholas Churches all over the World

Our St. Nicholas Church Gazetteer has over 6500 St. Nicholas churches. Is there one near you?

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