St. Nicholas is addressed in desperate situations and under difficult material circumstances, unmarried and married women ask Nicholas to marry happily and to live with their spouse in love and harmony. Drivers, sailors and just travelers are praying to avoid dangers on the road. However, can you, please, answer the question “When is National St. Nicholas Day in 2017?” just now? As a rule, only some people are ready to do this. But in vain, as this holiday is really beautiful, as it is able to share magnificent and wonderful atmosphere.
That is the reason, why we have made a decision and to discover this special occasion in details.
Of course, we understand that it is impossible to explain, what day St. Nicholas Day in 2017 is, without taking into account the historical background of this event.
Unlike most saints, Saint Nicholas is a historical figure. The approximate years of his life were considered to be 270 — 345 years AD.
According to legend, Nicholas was the only son of rich and prosperous parents Feophan and Nona. For a long time they were childless, but they managed to beg God to give them son, promising to devote this child to religion. St. Nicholas early orphaned and lived alone, immersed in the world of science.
The name of Nicholas is recorded in the list of bishops who participated in the first Ecumenical Christian Council of 325, which was assembled by the emperor Constantine the Great. During his lifetime, he performed many miracles: he rescued three slandered military commanders from the death, saved the native city of Myra from severe famine, repeatedly saved the poor on land and at sea.
After a peaceful death, the relics of the saint began to exude a healing miracle, which glorified him even more.
In 2009, scientists at the University of Manchester, thanks to X-ray images and craniological measurements, managed to reconstruct the face of the saint. According to the research, Nicholas was a stocky man about 1.68 m high. He had a high forehead, prominent cheekbones and chin, brown eyes and dark skin.
What does St. Nicholas Day mean? Frankly speaking, it is up to you to decide. There are a lot of people, who have never celebrated this holiday indeed. They even don’t pay any attention to its existence.
Nicholas, who was a Greek by birth, is revered by both Orthodox and Catholic churches. Even Muslims and pagans turn to him for help. After all, he is considered the easiest and fastest to fulfill the request of the saints.
In iconography, icons «Nikola Winter» and «Nikola Spring» are for corresponding days of veneration in the year.
At the same time, the «winter» Nicholas is depicted in the bishop’s miter, and the «spring» one is with his head uncovered. According to legend, the iconography «Nicholas of the Winter» arose during the reign of Nicholas I, who drew attention to the fact that on the icon his heavenly patron was depicted without a headdress and made a note to the clergy.
Due to his actions St. Nicholas is considered the patron of ordinary people, sailors, merchants and children. There is a legend that in Alexandria, when he was still young, he resurrected a sailor, who fell from the element of ship rigging into a storm and died.
In our attempts to give the answer to the question “When is International St. Nicholas Day 2017?” we can’t but mention the following information.
All in all St. Nicholas Day usually begins a whole chain of Christmas holidays. And one of the pleasant events of this event is the arrival of the saint at night. His behavior depends on the country. For example, in Ukraine he puts sweets for children under a pillow, in Europe — into socks hung under the fireplace.
This special occasion has a perfect legend, which can be true, of course. Who knows? — In the neighborhood of St. Nicholas lived a poor widower who had a daughter. The girl had a lover from a rich family. But his parents did not want to take a homeless woman into their house. Learning about this, Nicholas thought: «I have everything, and it means that I can help other people to become more successful and happier”. Late at night he threw a bundle of gold coins into the bedroom window of the girl.
In such a way he joined the hearts of two beloved people. But in the village there were rumors that the real angel helped the lovers. Saint Nicholas felt happy for the first time in his life. He began to bring warm clothes, toys and food to the poor homes.
But he did it only at night, being unrecognized. But once he was seen by the townspeople and later they chose Nicholas as their bishop.
When is St. Nicholas Day in 2017, calendar is always ready to remind you. The only thing you have to remember is not to forget, when December 19th comes.
By tradition, St. Nicholas always comes at night. Children who want to receive gifts put a polished shoe at the door or under the window, and next to him put a carrot or a bunch of hay so that the donkey of St. Nicholas will not pass by. If there is a fireplace in the house, the biggest sock is always hung around it.
In general Saint Nicholas is considered to be the prototype of Santa Claus. And in the countries of Western Europe, the donkey helps him to deliver gifts. Therefore, near the boot for sweets, children usually leave and a couple of carrots, because the animal for an overnight journey can get tired and hungry.
By the way, we would like to mention that the coming holiday makes it possible for anyone to act as a secret helper. Who will be addressed to your help and love: orphanages, schools, hospitals, close people, and maybe yourself? It is up to you to decide as for this matter.
The custom of giving gifts to children has survived even today. By tradition, obedient children find sweets under the pillow, and harmful ones — coal.
There was also a long-standing belief that on St. Nicholas’ day one can’t do anything for himself, but only for those in need.
National St. Nicholas Day Facts
Talking about the answer to the question “What is the date of St. Nicholas Day 2017?” we would like to find out some other amazing pieces of information as to its matter.
Here is the list of things, which can’t be done on this holiday:
- December 19 is just during Christmas fasting. On this day you can eat fish, but it is forbidden to take meat, eggs and other products of animal origin.
- On St. Nicholas Day you shouldn’t lend. Our ancestors believed that the borrower together with the money can take out of the house good luck and health.
- On this holiday, the Orthodox Church does not speak about any restrictions on the performance of domestic work. But according to folk customs, this day people can’t be engaged in repair, sewing and washing.
And now the set of activities, which can be done without any problems:
- On that day, contemporary men and modern women go to church and pray. December 19 is best to start with the morning service.
- Help your relatives, give alms, but do not advertise it.
- According to folk tradition, on St. Nicholas Day people put gifts under the pillow, most often sweets: sweets, chocolate and gingerbread. Presents need to be put at night, so that in the morning a person wakes up and finds a present from Nicholas under the pillow.
- Our ancestors always had fun on Nicholas Day, organized festivities, laid a magnificent table and invited guests. This is a merry holiday, so December 19 should be spent in joy and fun.