santa, mikulás

Perhaps you are all familiar with the good old man wearing a red cape, giving presents to everyone around the world, riding his sleigh with the help of his reindeers. Yes, I am referring to Santa Claus, or as we Hungarians call him, Mikulás.

santa, mikulás, present

The figure of the old bishop with a long beard in a red cape appears in most of the Christian nation’s traditions, although he is linked to different customs everywhere. Here are some fun facts about Mikulás.

1. The word “Mikulás” is of Czech origin, while the act of bestowal spread in Hungary due to Austrian impact.

2. The first written record about Santa living on the north pole with his helping elves is from 1820.

3. Saint Nicholas, who is believed to be Santa Claus, is the patron of students and children. He walked around the town on this day in his red cloak and bishop mitre giving presents to them.

4. He is not bringing the Christmas presents in Hungary, but rather giving gifts to children on a separate day as a part of Christmastide on 6th December, on the day of Saint Nicholas. Children must put their cleaned boots to the window for the night, and if they were good all year, they get chocolate and sweets from him, if not, the only thing they will get is a “virgács”.

5. But why is he putting his presents into the carefully cleaned boots of the children? We should ask Saint Nicholas for the answer. He helped an Anatolian family by leaving money on the windowsill, that is why the boots should be put up there; so that Santa has a place to hide the chocolate and sweets.

mikulás, santa, reindeer

6. The Hungarian traditions related to Santa changed as an effect of globalisation; According to the custom, Santa was living in heaven with his elves or Krampuses. He watched children from above. Today’s consumer society affected it, claiming that Santa is a different figure in every country, being the tally of our mighty Mikulás living on Lapland; his sleigh is pulled by reindeers, while his servants stay behind.

7. The cult of Santa was banned in Hungary during the 18th century, because children were afraid of him. No wonder they were; Santa was depicted as a half deer half human creature, who was rather punishing and beating kids instead of rewarding them. Ringing a bell? This creature is quite like Krampus, Santa’s evil counterpart.

8. He “officially” lives in Lapland (Sápmi), Finland today. Children can even send him emails to [email protected].

+1 He is called by many names, all around the world: Santa Claus (North America, Canada), Father Christmas (England), Sinter Klaas (Denmark), Joulu Pukki (Finland), Père Noël (France), Sinterklaas (Netherlands), Ded Moroz (Russian), and Mikulás (Hungary).

Fancy reading more about Santa? Read more here.

1 comment
  1. Santa Claus is coming from the Politburo in Brussels? Pipo Timmermans has already a beautiful beard and a bag of sweets but the big book in which the sweet little children’s results should be found has disappeared, together with € 4,1billion that has been spent on ‘something or nothing’. The European Commission spent more than € 4.1 billion on the EU Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF), but the European Court of Auditors states that it is unclear what happened to the money and whether the projects and programs that have been funded have a useful effect. It is not surprising that the Court of Auditors has difficulty in determining the effectiveness of these funds since the projects and programs financed by the emergency fund have a very diverse character. Think of something with food and development. That should be much better in the future. In view of the unprecedented challenges and the budget involved the fund must become more effective and the support must be used for specific actions which are likely to have a measurable effect, according to Bettina Jakobsen of the European Court of Auditors. Think of the construction of solar panels with which an energy infrastructure can be set up. The aim of the fund was, among other things, to limit migrations from Africa to Europe but to what extent the fund has now contributed to this is completely unclear. If the European Commission is already unable to make any statements about this, then this also means that the UN Migration Pact of Marrakesh will probably not be very measurable in the reality despite all the promises of cooperation. If it is still a little early to make firm statements about that now. Furthermore, it is of course strange that the European Union is interfering with the Africans in this way. It is unclear exactly what the European interest is and the Africans themselves are not necessarily helped by it. If it is not measurable then the money seems to have been thrown into a bottomless pit and Timmermans once again plays Santa Claus with your taxmoney. The Chinese approach it very differently and are engaged in a new form of economic colonization of the continent. Or economic cooperation, it is just how you want to view this kind of phenomena. Where the Chinese clearly get value for their money: influence in the African Union (financed by China) and also many raw materials, the European Commission comes up with: ‘it is not measurable what we have done’. Nonsense! And another question is the cleaner Judith Szargentini who has ‘checked’ Hungary and was exited about the (false) effect. It is shameless that they look away if they are in the picture when fraude appears in their ‘own’ organization. € 4,1 billion means nothing

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