|Ukrainian St. Nicholas |
This tradition dates back to the 4th century when Saint Nicholas of Myra or Nicholas the Wonderworker who showed his love by passing out secret gifts to children and helping the needy. In North America, St. Nick is better known as Santa Claus from the Dutch word Sinterklaas or Sint-Nicolaas. He may also be known as Sankt Nikolaus or Nikolaus in German, Saint Nicolas in French, and Sviatyij Mykolai (meaning Saint Nicholas) in Ukrainian, but it is he that gave rise to the North American persona Santa Claus. However, there are folks that still prefer to give gifts on Dec 6 (Gregorian calendar) or Dec 19 (Julian calendar) St. Nicholas Day so as not to take away from the real meaning of Christmas and that is the birth of Christ, and love and peace on earth.