Why the German Nikolaus is not Santa Claus
Even though the Christmas traditions on both sides of the Atlantic feature a certain white-bearded man with a red coat, there are subtle differences in the way Americans and Germans commemorate Saint Nicholas. While the historic figure ofNicholas of Myra mutated to become Santa Claus in the Anglo-American world, most Germans call him Nikolaus. And the traditions that go with it are quite different, too.
For many German kids this past weekend marked the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season. Sure, the adults think the first Advent Sunday is the kick-off. But for the children it’s Nikolaus that counts because they finally get some gifts. Here is how it works:
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