Saint Nicholas day in Ukraine
Winter is the best time for Ukrainian children, because during just one month – from December 19 to January 19 – you can get a lot of gifts, visit the most interesting performances and participate in festive festivities. On the night of December 31 to January 1, the world celebrates the arrival of the New year, and the children do not leave the tree: there are boxes with surprises under it, and on the branches hang sweets, nuts and tangerines. Before Merry Christmas, on the night of January 7, during merry carols, boys and girls get a well-deserved reward: sweets and money. You can treat the old New year in different ways, but forget to give your child a gift for the most unusual holiday – in no case! Epiphany – January 19-completes the time of Yuletide, and after it comes a relatively small period of calm.
Well, the winter cycle of children's joys in Ukraine opens with the most beloved, most long – awaited, kind and bright holiday-St. Nicholas Day.
This day – December 19-differs from other winter holidays in Ukraine in that gifts are prepared not only for their children and babies of close friends. After all, Saint Nicholas throughout his life showed that you need to remember about those who need help: a roof over your head, clothing, food. They say that it is a tradition to put gifts in a sock on St. John's day. The Church was founded by the Saint himself, that is, Nicholas of Myra. He wanted to help the poor girls unobserved, and threw bags of gold coins through the chimney, and they fell into socks that were drying near the hearth.
But the most important aspect of gifts on St. Nicholas Day is their anonymity: as St. Nicholas did not want to know about his benefits, so adults on the night of December 19 quietly put gifts to children. In Western Ukraine, "sweets and joys" are put in stockings, socks or shoes, and in the East of the country – under the pillow. By the way, do not forget about the educational motives of gifts: naughty children instead of treats risk finding a thin willow twig under the pillow, as a warning from St. Nicholas.
Since Nicholas the Wonderworker is considered the patron Saint of sailors, travelers and children, special attention is paid to the latter on this day. Children living in boarding schools and orphanages, as well as those in hospitals and orphanages, also receive gifts – the so-called nikolaichiki.
St. Nicholas day in Ukraine: Nikolas
Traditionally, in former times in Ukraine, nikolaychiki were called delicious cookies (or gingerbread) in the form of stars, which Housewives baked for children. (Despite the fact that the feast of St. Nicholas falls during lent, prohibitions on restricting milk and sour cream do not apply to children, and therefore on the festive Lenten table there are delicious cookies (gingerbread) with butter, eggs and milk – nikolaichiki.)
Now Nicholas is called not only sweets, but also small gifts that are presented to children. In Ukraine, a good tradition is alive – to make small Souvenirs and toys with your own hands, which are then sent to needy disadvantaged children. After all, neither mom nor dad can put a gift under the pillow for children deprived of their fate, so their peers, who are engaged in different studios, prepare surprises for children from orphanages. In the culinary Studio, bake cookies, courses soft toy – sew little "nikolaichik", art school – paint miniatures or make clay toys in the Studio floristic composition is prepared on a Christmas theme. And then they send their crafts to orphanages and orphanages.
On the day of St. Nicholas in Ukraine, it is supposed to give alms, make gifts, do good deeds for others and not think about yourself: there is a belief that if a person does not do good on this holiday, he will be haunted by losses for seven years. Look around and you will see that there are children in your city who are in dire need of care and love. Small residents of boarding schools and orphanages, children from large families, children who do not have a mother or father, also need miracles, and you can be the one who will create them. Feel like a wizard for at least one day: give children a fairy tale. Just like that! For nothing!