Index Advent Christmas-Markets St. Nickolaus Christmastree 24 - 25th

St Nicholas is on the 6th of Decemberhttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f9/Nikolaus_von_Myra02.gif/180px-Nikolaus_von_Myra02.gif
Saint Nicholas who was probably born around A.D. 245 in the port city of Patara in what we now call Turkey. Very little solid historical evidence exists for the man who later became the Bishop of Myra and the patron saint of children, sailors, students, teachers, and merchants. He is credited with several miracles and his feast day is Dec. 6, which is the main reason he is connected with Christmas, in Austria, parts of Germany, and Switzerland.
One story tells of a poor man with three daughters. In those days a young woman's father had to offer prospective husbands a dowry. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry and therefore destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home, providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging or putting out shoes or stockings, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas.
It is said that God rewarded Nicholas’ generosity by allowing him to return to earth each year to bring gifts to all the good children
On the day itself, people are dressed as a St. Nickolaus with flowing robes and a miter. He carries a big book where Children’s good and bad deeds are written.

When children promise to be good and study hard, St. Nicholas rewards them with a treat. He may come by himself or with Krampus and he is a strange and frightening creature. This devil figure, often in chains, is dressed in fur with a scary devil mask with horns and a long red tongue. Krampus carries a wooden stick or switches to threaten children who misbehave. Many towns and cities have Krampus parades with many young men in elaborate fur costumes and devil masks. After the parade the Krampus figures scatter and beat anyone who gets in their way. Special if you have been bad, you got to run fast………….