MIKLAVŽEVANJE – ST NICHOLAS CELEBRATIONS
On the Eve of St. Nicholas (5th December), the children were all well behaved, frightened by the visit of MIKLAVZ (St. Nicholas) and his companion angels and the HUDICI (devils). At first the bells are heard from the road, amongst the ringing the chains are heard. Children keep close to their mothers, and the fathers usually wait at the door. The angels carry a big book with the names of well-behaved children, and of those, who were naughty. The angels carry the presents and the devils jump and hop around the house. Miklavz is dressed in a long coat (Bishop’s coat), has a bishop’s hat on his head, white gloves and in his left hand is a long, gilded bishop’s stick. From the book he reads the names of the children who were good and praises them while naughty ones are told to be better. The children are asked questions from the Catechism and to say prayers. For the diligent children there are usually presents such as walnuts, biscuits (in the shape of angels and devils) or similar, but for the naughty ones there is only MIKLAVŽEVA ŠIBA – a stick, often decorated with ribbon. Sometimes devils put naughty children into a basket and carry them, chain them and drag them along for a while. Since the Second World War Miklavž appears only in some villages and among Slovenians living in other countries.
In Australia Miklavž is welcomed and celebrated at all Slovenian churches and Slovenian Clubs/Associations with the special short welcoming cultural program and children receiving the gifts from Miklavž.
(click on links to view photos and information)
lovenian Association Geelong
Victoria, NSW and South Australia
St Nicholas Day
St Nicholas in Slovenia