Agios Nikolaos

We have a little piece of the Greek culture for you! The festivity of Agios Nikolaos!

This festivity is celebrated on December 6, and many places around the world honor it but today we will talk about the Greek vision of this saint.

In Greece, Agios Nikolaos does not carry a special association with giving gifts, as this is happening with Saint Basil of Caesarea, celebrated on New Year's Day. Agios Nikolaos being the protector of sailors is considered the patron saint of the Greek navy, military and ship merchant, and his day is marked by festivities aboard all ships and boats, at sea and in port.

According to the tradition, it is Agios Nikolaos who makes the winds rage and cease, he can walk on the seas and whenever there is a ship in trouble, he would save it. He is the protector of sailors and fishermen and of course for those who carry his name. The Greek sailors keep icons of Agios Nikolaos on shipboard seeking for his protection. Also the Sailors' wives put these icons into the sea, praying for having their husbands safely back home.

After Nikolaos Day  it is said that the winter is finally arriving and also the cold weather, therefore the week after Agios Nikolaos day is called the "Nikolobárbara" because of the saints that are celebrated those days. So the people should be already prepare for facing the cold in the homes, in the old times before this week the floor’s houses were covered by carpets.

Also the Agios Nikolaos day has another meaning the autumn fishing season ends on this day and traditionally the day's catch has to be offered to Agios Nikolaos, the fishermen eat the first fish caught right on the shore, before bringing the rest home.

In Greece the sea has a vital importance and therefore also the Agios Nikolaos festivity!

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