St. Nicholas Day 2018 is on Thursday, December 6, 2018: St.Nicholas day . what?
Thursday, December 6, 2018 is St. Nicholas Day 2018.
Saint Nicholas Day is December 6. It celebrates the patron saint of children, and of Russia. He was known for his generosity, and he died on December 6, 343 AD.
Saint Nicholas Day is a festival for children in much of Europe related to surviving legends of the saint, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts. The American Santa Claus, as well as the Anglo-Canadian and British Father Christmas, derive from these legends. "Santa Claus" is itself derived from the Dutch Sinterklaas.
People in Europe would put out gifts for children in the name of St. Nicholas on December 6. When the Dutch came to America, bringing their customs with them, Sinterklaas (Saint Klaus, "Klaus" being a nickname for Nicholas) became Santa Claus. Eventually, Santa Claus became the gift-giver for the American Christmas.
Who celebrates St. Nicholas Day?
We always celebrated it, too, but I'm also from Wisconsin.
It's interesting that even in areas as close as Chicago, it isn't celebrated.
According to wikipedia:
While feasts of Saint Nicholas are not observed nationally, cities with strong German influences like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and St. Louis celebrate St. Nick's Day on a scale similar to the German custom... The tradition of St. Nick's Day is firmly established in the Milwaukee community, with parents often continuing to observe the day with even their adult children.
Another reference site:
Bishop St. Nicholas is celebrated by many churches and by communities which have a Dutch heritage. On the Advent Sunday closest to St. Nicholas Day, December 6, some churches have St. Nicholas festivals, large or small, with the good saint himself appearing to greet children, give instruction and encouragement, and hand out treats for children of all ages. In some places he is a focus in worship and in others he is part of a special fellowship event. St. Nicholas may also be the inspiration for a special Advent project—one which shows his concern for justice and relief of suffering. These observances are most prevalent in Orthodox and Episcopal churches, though not uncommon in many others, as well.
So it's definitely dependent on heritage and location. Wisconsin has a very prevalent German and Dutch ancestry. While Chicago also has a similar German presence, it's probably very dependent on location within the city, too, since ethnic groups often tend to form communities and maintain traditions.
when's saint nicholas day?
In many places St. Nicholas is the main gift giver. His feast day, St. Nicholas Day, is December 6, which falls early in the Advent season. Some places he arrives in the middle of November and moves about the countryside, visiting schools and homes to find out if children have been good. Other places he comes in the night and finds carrots and hay for his horse or donkey along with children's wish lists. Small treats are left in shoes or stockings so the children will know he has come.
Where St. Nicholas is prominent, his day, not Christmas, is the primary gift giving day. Parties may be held on the eve, December 5th, and shoes or stockings left for St. Nicholas to fill during the night. Children will find treats of small gifts, fruit or nuts, and special Nicholas candies and cookies. St. Nicholas gifts are meant to be shared, not hoarded for oneself.
Every year, Jews are commanded to retell the Passover story. This usually takes place during the Passover Seder, which is a service held at home as part of the Passover celebration. It is always observed on the first night of Passover, and in some homes on the second night as well. On both nights, the seder concludes with a dinner. Learn more about the Passover seder in: What Is a Seder? If you would like to know more about the meaning behind the items on the seder plate, check out: The Meaning of Items on the Seder Plate
Kosher for Passover?
Passover is a holiday that has certain dietary restrictions associated with it. The biggest one has to do with eating unleavened bread, called matzah. This custom comes from the part of the Passover story that says the Hebrew slaves fled Egypt so quickly that their bread didn't have time to rise. Matzah is a kind of bread that is made without yeast and not allowed to rise, so eating it in remembrance of this part of the story is a way to bring some of the Passover narrative to life.
In addition to eating matzah, Jews avoid any leavened bread during the week of Passover. They also avoid eating any food products containing wheat, barley, rye, spelt, or oats if they have leavening. According to tradition, these grains naturally rise if they are not cooked in 18 minutes and are called "chametz" during Passover. In the Ashkenazi tradition corn, rice, millet and legumes are also on the no-no list. Because things like corn syrup and cornstarch can be found in unexpected places, the easiest way to avoid inadvertently violating the rules of kashrut during Passover is to only use food products that are specifically labeled "Kosher for Passover." Learn more about Passover food in: What is Kosher for Passover?