Slovakia Update #86 – Sv. Mikuláš

Waking up in the morning, finding a bag filled to the brim with sweets was not something that I was expecting. Sv. Mikuláš, or St. Nicholas, has his own holiday, with it’s own unique traditions. Today I will talk about my experience with it, and I will explain the unique(ish) Slovak holiday.

I did not have time to look through the entire bag before school started, but before I left for the bus I had a quick peek. I saw some fruits; a banana and an orange, as well as some chocolates. What surprised me the most, was a small potato, just barely poking out of the bag. I didn’t have time to question it however, as the bus would be arriving any minute.I spent the rest of the day pondering what it could possibly mean.

Once I arrived back home in the evening, I dove into the goody bag that awaited me back in my apartment. I found a wide variety of sweets, with there being large amounts of chocolates. I don’t know if I will be able to finish this anytime soon!

The holiday has Hungarian roots, although it is celebrated all across Europe. Traditionally, children place a boot by the window, and on the night of December 5/6, St. Nicholas comes by and delivers sweets. If you are given only items such as potatoes and spatulas, then it means that you were bad all year. However, I received a combination of sweets and a potato, so that means that I was both a good and bad boy this year. Apparently this is very common. 

The holiday is very interesting (and probably not too great for my health), and I feel a little guilty not giving my host family anything in return. However, I am going to Bratislava tomorrow, and Vienna on Saturday, so I am bound to find something interesting for them there. That’s all for today!


  • Ginger

    December 8, 2017

    What a fantastic tradition! That would be so much fun! The potatoe is a cute addition. Just reminds us nobody us perfect. The fruit and chocolate mixture sounds very tasty indeed! I am going to learn more about this tradition!

  • G Man

    December 9, 2017

    Small potatoes? Possibly from the grammar fairy ?

    • alexfranke8

      December 10, 2017

      Most likely. I have been very bad in that department.


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