Yesterday, December 6th, was the Mikulás celebration in Hungary. Mikulás (the Hungarian equivalent of Nicholas aka Jolly ol’ St. Nic) is the day when “Santa” (Mikulás, or “Télapu”- winter father) visits the children. It is celebrated on the 6th of December, so as to separate St. Nicholas from the religious celebration of Christmas. Mikulás serves as the equivalent of the stockings children in the US receive on Christmas morning, while larger presents are still exchanged at Christmas.
The night before Mikulás, the kids must set out their boots to be filled with goodies. Presentation is important — the kids must have there boots nicely cleaned or risk being left with nothing. We told our kids to clean their boots, and Daniel and Panka vigerously set off with the brushes we provided. Matthew disappeared with his boots; we became concerned when we heard the bathroom faucet turning on. We found Matthew along with two boots full of water — not quite what we had in mind. In the morning, the kids (if they were good) awake to find a bag of treats awaiting them.