English

Nicholas loves all children!

In the Orthodox tradition there is no Advent. In Ukraine and Russia children are waiting impatiently for the 19th December, the Saint Nicholas Day (Ukrainian Mykolaj).

 

St. Nicholas is one of the most respected Orthodox saints. The old man with kind and sad eyes is a patron saint of travelers, fishermen, drivers and children. He helps everyone who turns to him for help.

 

Previously in Ukraine on St. Nicholas Day people organized three-day festivities with music and dancing. Mummers went from house to house, one of the guys played the role of St. Nicholas. He gave honey cakes to the obedient children. Tomboys were first frightened with twigs, and then they also got sweets. “Unfortunately, during the Soviet era this folk tradition was forgotten”, Olga Kenzian, a Ukrainian from Gummern, notices. “But now every Ukrainian kid leaves a sock for St. Nicholas’ gifts at their bedroom door”.

 

Olga has been living in Carinthia since 2003, her husband is Austrian and they have two daughters. They celebrate St. Nicholas Day twice. “Nicholas loves all children”, Olga thinks. “On this day I try to remind Anna and Edda about charity and kindness of Nicholas, telling stories about him. For me it is very important not to turn this holiday into a festival of presents, but to remember its spiritual meaning: to be kind, honest, to help those in need and to love each other”.

 

PHOTOS

1. Olga Kenzian’s family celebrate St. Nicholas Day twice: the catholic festival on 6th December and the orthodox one on 19th December.

2. Anna and Edda Kenzian are happy to find St. Nicholas’s presents.