Homestead of adventures Tešnak was this week visited by beloved saint Nicholas. This evening was very special to us, as we were hosting our guest from India at the time and we invited him to our unique St. Nicholas evening.
St. Nicholas celebration is very popular in our village Hotavlje and we are celebrating it according to slovenian tradition. St. Nicholas is one of the most popular among saints and is known for his help to those in need. He is accompanied by beautiful, friendly angels and malicious Krampusen (Krampus is a terrifying, evil figure who takes naughty and mischievous children with him). This is the purpose of st. Nicholas; to reward good children and to frighten naughty ones so they improve in the future.
In homestead Tešnak we were anxiously expecting the arrival of st. Nicholas. Songs were sung and music was played. Children hid themselves in fear of Krampusen. The arrival of the saint was announced with pleasant, soft tingling by angles. Krampusen sneaked into the room, frightened the children, larked arround and took children’s candys. They were playful and full of undesirable ideas. Children sang, prayed and answered to st. Nicholas questions. The good man then distributed his wealthy presents among children, that are nowadays much bigger than in the past. The gifts used to be much more humble. Traditionaly they contained dried fruit and some fresh fruit like oranges and mandarins. And in todays material world merchants are rubbing their hands in delight of selling their products for each event, that we want to mark it with gifts.
When st. Nicholas left off for his further patrol around village, we were eager to open our presents. What gifts brought us this benefactor! Were we really this good throughout the whole year? Apparently yes, because God in heaven sees all and all our good deeds are written in the golden book.
This old slovenian custom was for our Indian guest quite a surprise. In his homeland they do not know this tradiiton. He accustomed really fast and st. Nicholas spoke with him in English. He gave him a present and wished him a pleasant stay in Slovenia.
St. Nicholas has a reputation for secret gift-giving and also visits children at night. We put our wicket baskets on the table and write down names of the gift recipients. How great is this saint! Thank God that he gots many helpers who helps him distribute gifts for the good children and stick, turnip for naughty ones.