The night of December 5th is an important one in Romania. On this night, before going to bed, children shine and clean their boots because a special visitor will come in the night and fill them with treats. The special visitor is Moș Nicolae, aka Saint Nicholas. St. Nick celebrates his day on December 6. Moș is pronounced like “m-oh-sh” in one syllable. Not like “mosh” (as in mosh pit).
If the child has been bad, he gets a stick. Or maybe you get a stick to remind you not to do anything bad before Christmas 🙂
I wonder if this is related to how we got stockings in our modern Christmas holiday tradition. Romanians do not hang stockings because their fireplaces don’t have mantles. So treats in boots translated to treats in socks over the fire? Who knows?
Above: examples of Romanian fireplaces
Other people who celebrate on December 6th are people who have names deriving from “Nicolae”. It’s their name day, so these people will have extra celebrations in addition to getting treats in their boots.
In our house, Moș Nicolae came and brought age appropriate treats (for Clau – cigarettes and beer). I got chocolate and a stick (fitting).
The oranges this time of year are delicious! I’ve never had citrus that tasted this good, not even in Florida (sorry, Floridians!). They’re also crazy cheap.