Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas

P.L is one of my friends in high school. He’s half German so he knows many cultures and folklore from there. He hasn’t been to German for that long, but his parents made it so he would be culturally involved.  He’s also lived in the States and Taiwan so he’s multi-culturally diverse.

P.L has given me a legend as folklore to use. This legend is about a figure known as Saint Nicholas. This would often be believed in Germany. During the night of December 5th, people would have to clean their boots and put them in front of the door, as P.L would do when he was young. Saint Nicholas would then visit during the nighttime after you fell asleep. If you are a good kid, Saint Nicholas would leave chocolate or toys in the boots. If you were a bad kid, Knecht Ruprecht, who is Saint Nicholas companion or servant, would carry a big sack to take the bad children away. Or he’ll leave wooden sticks for the parents to spank the children.

P.L shared me with this experience because of how he personally participate in this, and even got candy from it. His parents were the one who told him about it. He likes this legend, because when he believed in it, he would get candy, and he would also know to be a good boy in order to secure the candies.

The figures are prominent in this legend are Saint Nicholas and Knecht Ruprecht. These two figures act as the good and the evil, where Saint Nicholas is the good and Knecth Ruprecht is the bad. Saint Nicholas also acts as Santa Clause in the States, where he would give presents to only the well-behaving kids.

These two figures may have existed before, but they’re most likely not visiting the houses of every children and rewarding the good ones, while rewarding the bad ones. Like Santa Clause, I think Saint Nicholas is a good way to force the children to behave, so they would think that they would get presents.