The Hungarian Santa, called Mikulás, (Me-ku-lash)
visits children on December 6th, St. Nicholas' Day, which is the name day
of "Miklós." Chidren put boots in the windows, like stockings hang by the
fireplace on Christmas Eve all over the USA. If the child has been good, Mikulás
leaves the boot filled with goodies - traditionally with candies, tangerines, walnuts,
apples, dates and chocolate Mikulás figurines. Also, most children get small toys and books.
If the child has been bad, the boot will contain just a switch usually with a
devil-figure attached, indicating a beating is in order. Since no child is all good or
all bad, most get the switch and the treat.
Usually Mikulás-day is celebrated in schools and in work-places for the workers'
children. Children sing Mikulás-songs and when he comes in bravest children
go to him, sit to his lap and tell a poem or sing a song. Then Mikulás calls them
one by one, praising them for the good things they did and mentions bad things as well.
These personal messages - of course - based on previous parents' notes. Usually
Mikulás plays with them for a while or they watch a movie together.
There is no Mrs. Santa in Hungary, but Mikulás often comes with one or two
small evil boys, called "krampusz (kromm-puhs)."
My Christmas Webrings