The figure of Santa Claus, St. Nick, old Father Winter (Télapó), or Noel to some has become quite mixed up and serves many purposes. For most, he is understood in the way that the Coca Cola company, designers and circulators of the image of a fat, jolly man in a red and white suit with a sack of toys has portrayed him; fat and jovial, saying ‘ho ho ho’, and coming down chimneys on Christmas eve. This part is important because it clashes with what most Christians believe is the way gifts are given and the point of Christmas; the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
St. Nick is only relevant to Catholics and Greek Orthodox really, as it is only this oldest branch of Christianity that believes in the existence of Saints. Originally Saint Nicholas was a saint who bought children gifts and was a patron saint of children, although how exactly differed from country to country; in some places he was accompanied by a mean spirited helper called Krampus or Svart Peter, in some places he punishes bad children himself, in some places he only brings good things.
Hungary is a Catholic country and our understanding is that the baby Jesus brings the presents on Christmas, and in most households it is understood that your parents by them for you to celebrate the Holidays with love and family bonding. We have a feast day for old Saint Nick, which is the 6th of December, when children get small goodie bags of chocolate, oranges, sweets and maybe a small toy. These are left in stockings that are put out in the window sill to dry.
At AllNightCrash we also wish to celebrate this great tradition! We will have a special St Nick themed pub crawl on the 4-5th, so come in a red hat and get a free shot!