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Clean your shoes - Nikolaus is coming!

In America kids celebrate Halloween, in Germany they celebrate St. Nikolaus. Every sixth of December they will walk through the streets, ring their neighbour's doorbells and sing a Christmas song to get some sweets. 

St. Nikolaus was a priest, who was persecuted and tortured by Christian's back in the year 310. But he survived this hard time and was known for its generosity. There was once a man, who wanted to get his daughters married but hadn't had enough money for the dowry. So he decided to sell them as slaves or prostitutes. To prevent this, St. Nikolaus threw a golden coin through the man's chimney for several days until the dowry was complete. That is just one Story. 

In Germany kids know St. Nikolaus, because he brings little presents during the night before the sixth of December (which is actually his death day). Not like Santa Claus, he only brings a few little presents, like apples, oranges, new socks or a chocolate bar. All these presents will be hidden in one of your shoes. 

 

A tradition is to clean your shoes in the evening before St. Nikolaus day. You will only get some presents if they're clean! Then you will leave the shoes outside of your door for the night. Some children also leave some cookies and a glass of milk for Nikolaus and a carrot for this donkey. Because that's his way to travel around. 

 

The next evening children will walk around in their neighbourhood and sing Christmas songs to their neighbours. After that they will get some sweets for their performance. Some of them are dressed like little angles, Santas or Rudolphs. So if there are children in your neighbourhood, prepare some sweets.  

I hated this tradition when I was a child, beause I was very shy and didn't like to sing in front of other people. But my mom kind of forced me to do it and I guess that was very important to build and strengthen my self-confidence. 

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