December 19, Orthodox Christians celebrate St. Nicholas day (Nicola of winter). This holiday is especially loved by children, because St. Nicholas is the patron Saint of children, sailors and merchants, and it is believed that on this day, he brings gifts to children.

St. Nicholas (Nicholas, Nicholas){!LANG-60664c5fb5b4515201a1763b37ceca81!}

Nicholas (at that time he was not yet a Bishop) found out about it and decided to use his father's inheritance to help girls{!LANG-eb0648ea1ea80c7c283f8674883a073a!}

So every daughter of a poor man received a dowry. But they did not know to whom they owe their dowry, because Nicholas chose to remain anonymous{!LANG-17d44f71aad18c29bcad43b1b640a3f6!}

In memory of this children decided to give gifts{!LANG-3b2c24ce8edf45daf5497e3d20664930!}

This tradition originated in medieval Germany, where parents in anticipation of the holiday gave the children winter wear (Catholics celebrate St. Nicholas day on December 6, at the beginning of winter). Over time, the gifts are to give secretly, so that children believed that they were brought by St. Nicholas, and the clothes took treats, toys, school supplies, etc. Toys put in the stocking hanging by the fireplace, or in a Shoe, standing by the bed.

In Catholic countries, children believe that St. Nicholas comes with a donkey, so put it next to the shoes straw or carrots for the little helper. It is the Holy Nicholas became the prototype of Santa Claus{!LANG-8514928b9dfae7e3fa72183cad02c7a6!}

Some countries believe that St. Nicholas comes not alone, but with assistants. So, in the Czech Republic believe that accompany the Holy devil and an angel{!LANG-4432676e46cb00e0adf3d61df840e0f6!}

And the Dutch children believe that St. Nicholas (Sinterklaas ) arrives in Rotterdam by ship from distant and warm Spain and enters the city on horseback, accompanied by "{!LANG-43b4f7c297cc6f440d94811b23c11892!}{!LANG-fa43bbd267c61238ebf6cf84486b845e!}

Over time, children in different countries began write letters to St.. they listed the good deeds done for the year, asked for forgiveness for bad deeds and described what gift I want on the day of St. Nicholas.

Ukraine has its own traditions associated with this day{!LANG-fcfd9be56c0350a3a1e03c62991a0c65!}

St. Nicholas day — one of the most revered Christian holidays. This Christmas day post is weakened, and the faithful are allowed to eat fish. In memory of the goodness, mercy and love, who all his life showed Saint Nicholas, this holiday often times various charity events.