Rescuing St. Nicholas!
In 1998 a group of Austrian activists founded Pro-Christkind.org “to promote the original meaning and character of Advent and Christmas.” They wanted to bring back Sankt Nikolaus and Christkind in place of the Weihnachtsmann or Santa Claus.
It was reported in 2006 that Vienna’s deputy mayor was banning Nikolaus from kindergartens. That was very controversial and thousands signed on to keep Nikolaus, saying children love Nicholas and he should stay. Actually the mayor’s office said it only wanted to keep the “scary” figures from children and that Nicholas should only be portrayed by someone the children knew. It may have been a way the mayor was trying to keep the very frightening and dangerous Krampus character away from young children.
The town of St. Wolfgang has banned Santa from its local Christmas market. The vendors are required to offer only traditional Austrian products and typical local foods.
- Hall, Allan, “Give Santa the sack—he’s not the real thing” The Scotsman, November 25, 2006.
- Ich glaub ans Christkind
- “Rettet den heiligen Sankt Nikolaus und das Christkind!” (Save the Holy Saint and Christ Child) Bairische-sprache.at.
- Reuters, “St Nick hasn’t been nixed this Xmas, Vienna insists,” November 30, 2006.