Today is Mikolajki!
December 6th is the feast day of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children, and Mikolajki as this day is known in Polish is a special day in the run up to Christmas when small gifts are given to children in Poland. Depending on family traditions these presents are either left under pillows, on windowsills, or in footwear (clean shoes or boots!).
Related pages on Polish Poland:
- More information on Saint Nicholas Day and old images of St. Nicholas.
St. Nicholas Day (Dzien Świętego Mikołaja) is celebrated on the 6th December each year in Poland.
For many Poles, St. Nicholas Day marks the start of the Christmas season proper in Poland. Tradition says that St. Nickolas (Sw. Mikolaj) visits homes and leave small gifts under pillows, on windowsills and in shoes for the children who live there. These presents are generally sweets, chocolates, gingerbread (pierniczki) and other edible treats. In past times, some Polish families would leave hay, apples, or carrots out for the donkey on which St. Nicholas was believed to be riding.
Many families also choose to put up their Christmas decorations and decorate their tree on Mikołajki (the 6th December). And Xmas lights are switched on by shops, businesses, and local councils in many towns and cities throughout Poland.