Boldog Mikulás Nap, Mindenkinek!!

Posted on | Monday, December 6, 2010 | 1 Comment

Or, "Happy Mikulás Day, Everyone!" to those not well versed in Hungarian.

Today in Hungary is Szent Mikulás Day. When I lived in Hungary I was astounded (and ridiculously giddy) to discover that Hungary has not one but two Christmases. December 6th is the first one where Hungarian children (and big kids like me) polish and shine their shoes and set them out on either the window sill or their front step. By the next morning the boots and shoes have been filled with goodies -- traditionally with candies, tangerines, dates and chocolate Mikulás figurines. It’s a bit like the Santa and the Christmas stocking tradition here in the United States.

There is a catch to the holiday though; while the good children will have their shoes filled with chocolates sweets and small presents by Mikulás, the naughty children receive gifts from Krampusz -- Mikulás’ goblin helper -- such as wooden spoons or switches (called virgács). Talk about getting coal in your stocking! It’s very common for children to get both candy and a switch since everyone has a bit of a mean streak in them. I still have the switch, painted silver to mean that I am only a little bit naughty, that I found in my shoe.

I asked my host family if Mikulás came back for Christmas day gifts as well. My host mother laughed and told me that it's baby Jesus who brings presents on Christmas Eve and was amazed to hear that in the United States Mikulás (aka Santa Claus) came on Christmas. While there are games, costumes, and decorations on Mikulás, Christmas day is either spent at home with family or at church.

Happy Szent Mikulás Day, everyone!


One Response to “Boldog Mikulás Nap, Mindenkinek!!”

  1. Anonymous
    December 5, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Happy Szent Mikulás Day to you too from a 2nd generation Hungarian-Australian :)


Photobucket I was born and raised in California. I have also lived in Hungary, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and I will be moving again this summer. Kael is my incredibly awesome kiddo who is growing up far too quickly, and Alex is my fiance who makes me happier than should be legally allowed. I write about them a lot. I'm mildly obsessed with cooking and photography. I write about those things, too.