Around the 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
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.
A variety of characters accompany St. Nicholas in different places. They define and reflect the varying traditions that have grown up around this saint.
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?
Some of the major St. Nicholas festivals around the world
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.
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?
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.
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 isn’t just for churches. His image is present in public venues, too. Some are old, others new.
In another section
Our St. Nicholas Church Gazetteer has over 6500 St. Nicholas churches. Is there one near you?