Mikulás

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An illustration of Mikulas and Krampusz from 1865 Vasarnapi Ujsag Mikulas 1865.jpg
An illustration of Mikulás and Krampusz from 1865

Mikulás (or Szent Miklós) is the Hungarian version of Saint Nicholas, and a similar figure to Santa Claus. In many cities, Mikulás is getting more conflated with Santa Claus. [1] Still, it is believed that Mikulás arrives to celebrate his day, December 6, and leaves before Christmas. This tradition is also well known in Romania (Moș Nicolae), Slovenia (Miklavž), the Czech Republic, Slovakia (both Mikuláš), Croatia (Sv. Nikola) and Poland (Mikołaj).

Hungary Country in Central Europe

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken Uralic language in the world, and among the few non-Indo-European languages to be widely spoken in Europe. Hungary's capital and largest city is Budapest; other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr.

Saint Nicholas 4th-century Christian saint

Saint Nicholas of Myra, also known as Nicholas of Bari, was an early Christian bishop of the ancient Greek maritime city of Myra in Asia Minor during the time of the Roman Empire. He is revered by many Christians as a saint. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students in various cities and countries around Europe. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints, and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus through Sinterklaas.

Santa Claus Folkloric figure, said to deliver gifts to children on Christmas Eve

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on Christmas Eve and the early morning hours of Christmas Day. The modern Santa Claus grew out of traditions surrounding the historical Saint Nicholas, the British figure of Father Christmas and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas. Some maintain Santa Claus also absorbed elements of the Germanic god Wodan, who was associated with the pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.

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Treats

Although the role of gift-giver on Christmas Day itself is assigned to the Christ Child, on the eve of Saint Nicholas' feast day of 6 December Hungarian children traditionally place a boot on their windowsill [2] waiting for Mikulás to come by and fill it with treats.

Christmas holiday originating in Christianity, usually celebrated on December 25 (in the Gregorian or Julian calendars)

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ observed on December 25. as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.

There is no Mrs. Mikulás in Hungary. [3] In the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia, Mikulás/Miklavž often comes with two assistants: a good Angel who gives out presents to good children and a “Krampusz”, a mean elf, in some version a Devil, who punishes bad children.

Angel supernatural being in various religions and mythologies

An angel is generally a supernatural being found in various religions and mythologies. In Abrahamic religions, angels are often depicted as benevolent celestial beings who act as intermediaries between God or Heaven and humanity. Other roles of angels include protecting and guiding human beings, and carrying out God's tasks. Within Abrahamic religions, angels are often organized into hierarchies, although such rankings may vary between sects in each religion. Such angels are given specific names or titles, such as Gabriel or Michael. The term "angel" has also been expanded to various notions of spirits or figures found in other religious traditions. The theological study of angels is known as "angelology." Angels who were expelled from Heaven are referred to as fallen angels.

Krampus A horned, anthropomorphic folklore figure associated with Christmas

In Central European folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as "half-goat, half-demon", who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts. Krampus is one of the companions of Saint Nicholas in several regions including Austria, Bavaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Northern Italy including South Tyrol and the Province of Trento, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The origin of the figure is unclear; some folklorists and anthropologists have postulated it as having pre-Christian origins.

Elf supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore

An elf is a type of human-shaped supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore. In medieval Germanic-speaking cultures, elves seem generally to have been thought of as beings with magical powers and supernatural beauty, ambivalent towards everyday people and capable of either helping or hindering them. However, the details of these beliefs have varied considerably over time and space, and have flourished in both pre-Christian and Christian cultures.

On 5 December, they come to the houses where small children live and give them some presents. While "good" children receive various fruits, candies and toys, "bad" children can expect nothing more than a wooden spoon, several pieces of coal or carrot or potatoes left by Krampusz. (However, as no one is either all good or all bad, most children get both sweets and a switch.)

To earn some extra money, students often act as Mikuláš, the Angel, and the Devil. Treats are traditionally sweets, chocolate, candy and different nuts. In modern times, chocolate Santa figures are most common. To get the presents, the boots must be polished, because Santa does not fill boots that are not shiny enough.

Confectionery Prepared foods made with a large amount of sugar or other carbohydrates

Confectionery is the art of making confections, which are food items that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Exact definitions are difficult. In general, though, confectionery is divided into two broad and somewhat overlapping categories, bakers' confections and sugar confections.

Chocolate food produced from the seed of Theobroma cacao

Chocolate is a usually sweet, brown food preparation of roasted and ground cacao seeds that is made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, or used as a flavoring ingredient in other foods. The earliest evidence of use traces to the Olmecs (Mexico), with evidence of chocolate beverages dating to 1900 BC. The majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs. Indeed, the word "chocolate" is derived from the Classical Nahuatl word chocolātl.

Candy sweet confection

Candy, also called sweets or lollies, is a confection that features sugar as a principal ingredient. The category, called sugar confectionery, encompasses any sweet confection, including chocolate, chewing gum, and sugar candy. Vegetables, fruit, or nuts which have been glazed and coated with sugar are said to be candied.

Bad kids may also get onions, raw potatoes or a lump of coal in their boots next to their presents as a warning that next year they might get only these.

Although presents are usually given to children by parents, it is not uncommon between adults to place small surprises (such as presents or a virgács) into the boots of others.

Virgács

The virgács is a switch resembling a small broom, made with twigs or branches from a bush or willow tree, often painted gold. They are sold on the streets in Hungary before Mikulás. [4]

Switch (corporal punishment) form of corporal punishment

A switch is a flexible rod which is typically used for corporal punishment, similar to birching.

Related Research Articles

Nicholas male given name

Nicholas, Nickolas, Nikolas, Nikolaus or Nicolas is a male given name, derived from the Greek name Νικόλαος (Nikolaos), a compound of νίκη nikē 'victory' and λαός; laos 'people'. The name became popular through Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia, the inspiration for Santa Claus. The Greek word laos originates from the word root -las, as found in the word λα-τομεῑο la-tomeio meaning "stone" or "rock" and the name can be understood to mean victory of the people. The name Nikolaos (Νικόλαος) pre-existed the Bishop of Myra who became Saint Nicholas, by several centuries. The Athenian historian Thucydides mentions that in the second year of the Peloponnesian war between Sparta and Athens, the Spartans sent a delegation to the Persian king to ask for his help to fight the Athenians; Nikolaos was one of the delegates. The customary English version of spelling "Nicholas", using an "h", first came into use in the 12th century and has been firmly established since the Reformation, though "Nicolas" is occasionally used.

Sinterklaas A Dutch figure that inspired the character of Santa Claus

Sinterklaas or Sint-Nicolaas is a legendary figure based on Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children. Other names for the figure include De Sint, De Goede Sint, and De Goedheiligman in Dutch; Saint Nicolas in French; Sinteklaas in West Frisian; Sinterklaos in Limburgs; Saint-Nikloi in West Flemish; and Kleeschen and Zinniklos in Luxembourgish.

Companions of Saint Nicholas

The companions of Saint Nicholas are a group of closely related figures who accompany Saint Nicholas throughout the territories formerly in the Holy Roman Empire. These characters act as a foil to the benevolent Christmas gift-bringer, threatening to thrash or abduct disobedient children. Jacob Grimm associated this character with the pre-Christian house spirit which could be benevolent or malicious, but whose mischievous side was emphasized after Christianization. The association of the Christmas gift-bringer with elves has parallels in English and Scandinavian folklore, and is ultimately and remotely connected to the modern Christmas elf in American folklore.

Saint Nicholas Day traditional day in Europa

Saint Nicholas Day, observed on December 5/6 in Western Christian countries and December 19 in Eastern Christian countries, is the feast day of Saint Nicholas. It is celebrated as a Christian festival with particular regard to his reputation as a bringer of gifts, as well as through the attendance of Mass or other worship services. In Europe, especially in "Germany and Poland, boys would dress as bishops begging alms for the poor." In Ukraine, children wait for St. Nicholas to come and to put a present under their pillows provided that the children were good during the year. Children who behaved badly may expect to find a twig or a piece of coal under their pillows. In the Netherlands, Dutch children put out a clog filled with hay and a carrot for Saint Nicholas' horse. On Saint Nicholas Day, gifts are tagged with personal humorous rhymes written by the sender. In the United States, one custom associated with Saint Nicholas Day is children leaving their shoes in the foyer on Saint Nicholas Eve in hope that Saint Nicholas will place some coins on the soles.

Christmas stocking

A Christmas stocking is an empty sock or sock-shaped bag that is hung on Saint Nicholas Day or Christmas Eve so that Saint Nicholas can fill it with small toys, candy, fruit, coins or other small gifts when he arrives. These small items are often referred to as stocking stuffers or stocking fillers. The tradition of the Christmas stocking is thought to originate from the life of Saint Nicholas. In some Christmas stories, the contents of the Christmas stocking are the only toys the child receives at Christmas from Santa Claus; in other stories, some presents are also wrapped up in wrapping paper and placed under the Christmas tree. Tradition in Western culture threatens that a child who behaves badly during the year will receive only a piece or pile of coal. Some people even put their Christmas stocking by their bedposts so Santa Claus can fill it by the bed while they sleep.

Christmas traditions

Christmas traditions vary from country to country. Christmas celebrations for many nations include the installing and lighting of Christmas trees, the hanging of Advent wreaths, Christmas stockings, candy canes, setting out cookies and milk, and the creation of Nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas carols may be sung and stories told about such figures as the Baby Jesus, St Nicholas, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Christkind or Grandfather Frost. The sending and exchange of Christmas card greetings, observance of fasting and special religious observances such as a midnight Mass or Vespers on Christmas Eve, the burning of a Yule log, and the giving and receiving of presents. Along with Easter, Christmas is one of the most important periods on the Christian calendar, and is often closely connected to other holidays at this time of year, such as Advent, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, St Nicholas Day, St. Stephen's Day, New Year's, and the Feast of the Epiphany.

Ded Moroz Fictional Christmas character in eastern Slavic cultures

Ded Moroz is a fictional character similar to that of Father Christmas and Santa Claus and has its roots in Slavic paganism mythology. The tradition of Ded Moroz is mostly spread in East Slavic countries and is an important part of Russian culture. Although at the beginning of the Soviet era communists banned Ded Moroz he soon became an important part of the Soviet culture. The literal translation is "Grandfather Frost".

Christkind traditional Christmas gift-bringer

The Christkind is the traditional Christmas gift-bringer in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Belgium, Portugal, Slovakia, Hungary, parts of northeastern France, Upper Silesia in Poland, parts of Hispanic America, in certain areas of southern Brazil, Quebec in Canada, and in the Acadiana region of Louisiana. In Italian, it is called Gesù Bambino, in Portuguese Menino Jesus, in Hungarian Jézuska, in Slovak Ježiško, in Czech Ježíšek, in Latin America "Niño Dios" or "Niño Jesús" and in Croatian Isusić or Isusek.

This article is about the culture of the Czech Republic.

Mikuláš or Mikulas may refer to:

Ježíšek is a cultural Christmas figure popular in the Czech Republic. It is also known as Ježiško in Slovakia, Jezušček in Slovenia and as Jézuska in Hungary.

Cavalcade of Magi Christmas tradition

The Cavalcade of Magi is a traditional parade of kings coaches, practically in all Spanish cities and also in some cities and towns in Mexico. The Magi ride through the streets, as their page boys throw candies to children.

Weihnachten Christmas celebrations and traditions in Germany

Weihnachten is the observance of what is commonly known in English as Christmas Eve in the German-speaking countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It is also widespread in countries with a German-speaking minority, such as Transylvania in Romania, South Tyrol in Italy, Eupen in Belgium, and various diasporas such as the German Brazilian and German American communities. Traditions of Weihnachten influenced Christmas and Advent culture throughout the world.

Since its origins, Easter has been a time of celebration and feasting and many traditional Easter games and customs developed, such as egg rolling, egg tapping, pace egging, cascarones or confetti eggs, and egg decorating. Today Easter is commercially important, seeing wide sales of greeting cards and confectionery such as chocolate Easter eggs as well as other Easter foods. Even many non-Christians celebrate these features of the holiday while ignoring the religious aspects.

Chocolate-covered potato chips

Chocolate-covered potato chips are an American snack food or confectionery, consisting of potato chips that have been dipped into melted chocolate or cocoa, and coated with the chocolate. They are used for snacking like potato chips, and also served at parties or get togethers as appetizers and dessert items, especially in North Dakota.

Christmas in Hungary Christmas celebrations and traditions in Hungary

Christmas in Hungary is celebrated with traditions similar to those found in other Central European countries as well as customs unique to the region.

Christmas gift-bringer Type of folkloric Christmas figures

A number of Midwinter or Christmas traditions in European folklore involve gift-bringers. Mostly involving the figure of a bearded old man, the traditions have mutually influenced one another, and have adopted aspects from Christian hagiography, even before the modern period. In Slavic countries, the figure is mostly Father Frost. In Scandinavia, it is an elf-like figure or tomten who comes at Yule . In Western Europe, the figure was also similar to an elf, developing into Father Christmas in the modern period in Great Britain. In German-speaking Europe and Latin Europe, it became associated with the Christian Saint Nicholas.

Christmas in France Christmas celebrations and traditions in France

Christmas in France is a major annual celebration, as in most countries of the Christian world. Christmas is celebrated as a public holiday in France being celebrated on December 25, same as the United States and other countries.

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Czech Republic Republic in Central Europe

The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants; its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen. The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union (EU), NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.