Christmas is celebrated a bit differently among Ukrainians! Instead of Santa Claus, kids expect Saint Nicholas 🎅🏻, or Sviatyi Mykolai as they call him in Ukraine.
On Saint Nicholas Day in Ukraine, people remember to be kind and help those who need it.
Only the kind, nice children receive a treat 🎁 from Saint Nicholas. The naughty children who do not listen to their parents and teachers may end up only getting a twig or a piece of coal under their pillows.
In Ukraine, after Saint Nicholas Day, everyone starts getting ready for Christmas. People light up Christmas trees 🎄 in many cities, and it is a magical time.
There’s a belief that Saint Nicholas Day is the last day to pay back debts. If you do not pay back what you owe, it’s thought that your family might not have good luck in the next year.
In some parts of Ukraine, special cookies, 🍪 called Mykolaichiky, are made for children on Saint Nicholas Day. Yummy treats for a special occasion!
More About Saint Nicholas
On the night of the 5th of December, it is said that Saint Nicholas will come with gifts 🎁 for kids, and they will find them on the morning of the 6th of December!
The tradition of giving gifts to children for the holiday has spread across Europe from medieval Germany. It was adopted by many countries, and by Ukraine, too.
Since ancient times, Ukrainians have considered Mykolai a patron of the common people. And he also takes care of those who travel and sailors.