Showing posts with label Saint Nicolas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saint Nicolas. Show all posts

Saint Befana’s Day: Gifts From the Witch

In Italy and Southern Switzerland, January 5th is Befana’s Day. In the night before Epiphany, the witch Befana brings presents and sweets to children. If this reminds you of Saint Nicolas, Santa Claus, and Old Man Frost, then that’s no coincidence.


Santa Claus: Travel in Switzerland

This is the legend of Saint Nicolas (or Santa Claus) as it is told in Switzerland. The legend probably dates from the 11th century, sometime after the worship of Saint Nicolas was introduced into the Holy Roman Empire by Empress Theophanu. She had brought the saint's story and his worship with her from her native Constantinople.



The Origins of Santa Claus

Santa Claus, or more properly Saint Nicolas of Myra is one of many early church saints whose legend is better known than any historical facts. As many other saints revered in the Catholic Church, he was moved around in the calendar during the reformation instigated by Martin Luther. The reformers ditched the saints' days and he therefore started to appear on Christmas or New Year instead of December 6. As an early church saint, his devotional day is also strongly rooted in the Orthodox churches of Eastern Europe.