De Kleeschen – St Nicholas Day (6 December)
Saint Nicolas, the traditional children’s celebration in Luxembourg
Almost more celebrated as Christmas on December 25 in Luxembourg and in the East of France, Saint Nicolas is means gifts and festivities for children, since it is Saint Nicholas who traditionally brings gifts to children. Impatient, they will drop their shoes as of the end of November waiting for this great moment.
December 6th is a day off for the children attending to the fundamental schools of Luxembourg who, the day before, welcome the patron saint of schoolchildren, symbolized by an old bearded gentleman and white hair, dressed in red , a pointed hat (miter) on the head and a stock in hand. St-Nicolas – “de Kleeschen”, comes to tour the schools to listen to traditional chants sung by children, crèches and sometimes even private houses with treats and gifts.
Saint Nicoles is accompanied by “Black Peter” who is the baddie who comes for the naughty children. His mission is to leave the disobedient children pieces of wood instead of sweets.
Saint Nicholas takes place during the Christmas Markets which illuminate and animate the Luxembourg cities during the period before Christmas.