Prague Twin

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

St. Mikuláš















Old St. Nick is out and about in the streets of the Czech Republic, but as with most things over here, he has his own eastern European style. First of all, he isn't St. Nicholas at all, but rather St. Mikuláš (please let me know if czech symbols cause problems on your computer... they look good from here, but I have Czech language on mine). Secondly, he comes out on the 5th of December instead of the 25th. Baby Jesus has the honors on Christmas (which is the 24th here) Mikuláš cruises around with an angel and a devil and when he finds little children he askes them if they have been good or bad and then he asks them to recite a poem or a song.

If the child does well, he or she gets candy (from the devil), and if not, the devil puts the kid into his sack and takes him to hell. Usually the kids do well and Mikuláš is pretty forgiving. The Angel tries to comfort the child while the devil scares the living hell out of them. Mikuláš remains the neutral judge.

I have seen kids crying, terrified. But in the end, when they get through it, they have a real sense of accomplishment.

This is just one more example of how kids have it a little harder over here than in the states.




11 Comments:

  • ščćžđ work for me. :D

    My memories have been all but pleasent of saint Miklavž (that's what we call him over here), especially his helper black noise makers - a bunch of really drunk local lads on rampage.

    By Anonymous romunov, at 10:59 PM  

  • That is one whacky d man. Bet you can't say ř!

    I think it is usually cool for the kids, but still, some are really afraid of the čert (devil).

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 12:09 AM  

  • Your characters were fine on my 'puter.

    I think American kids should have to run that "gaunlet"..they are so coddled here and expect everything automatically.

    By Blogger dusty, at 2:34 AM  

  • PT

    Sounds like a potentially great character builder! It's too bad this would never work in the litigious nation back at home. The ACLU would have a field day with this!

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:20 PM  

  • Dusty,

    I agree.

    Arch, you couldn't be more wrong since participation is 100% voluntary, they would have no legal basis.

    But nice try, spinmaster of all spinmasters.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 3:42 PM  

  • PT

    Voluntary "prayer time" in school never stopped the ACLU from filing suite in the states did it now?

    p.s. what happened to your hypocritical pompus restriction on personal attacks? Hahahahah

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 6:10 PM  

  • That was hardly a personal attack, and even if it was, it was spot on. A day doesn't go by when you don't try to spin something.

    You can attack me personally, but be accurate. Saying I can't think because I don't agree with you is not fair. Calling you a spinmaster when you turn a nice little piece on St. Mikluas into a hit piece on the ACLU is fair, wouldn't you agree.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:10 PM  

  • PT

    OK,,, fair enough.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 2:50 PM  

  • The 5th is St. Nick's feast day in the Catholic calendar. Santa is pretty tough on young children here but nothing like you describe. Scars 'em for life, I'd think.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 7:44 PM  

  • I just returned from Germany, and the Weinachtmann is busy carrying his switch, asking children to recite a poem or a song, but being very well received. The children don't seem scared of him; he also has a crozier, and in some instances a mitre with a cross. Would love to hear more about Prague at Christmas!

    By Blogger Publia, at 5:10 AM  

  • Just did little research and im so pleased this tradition is well known outside czech.
    I remember it well, the Cert (devil) rattling the rusty old chains and you as a kid hearing them come to your houme. Its seriously scary moment and belive me, you are allmost pissing yourself of scare. But such a good feelling when you get this small reward !!!
    And you remember it for the rest of the year and if you are being naughty and your mum says "stop, st. Mikulas has wrote that into his book " you will definitely stop, trust me!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:19 AM  

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