Mikulas or Devils Forge
December 6: Saint Nicholas Day
(now better known as Santa Claus)
In several countries in the Old World, December 6 is the day of remembrance of Saint Nicholas. This event is mostly celebrated on the evening before. In the Czech Republic, the name is shortened to Mikulas. Mikulas, accompanyed by devils and often also angles, checks in his ledger which children have been good and which bad. For the bad children, there is the birch rod; the good children get sweets and presents.
The Dutch brought this tradtion to the young United States or even before that to their colonies (New Amsterdam, now New York) and it became the basis for the Santa Claus tradition which shifted to Christmas Eve.
In the Czech Republic, mostly there are special actions on the Saturday before December 6. In our Smithy, we follow the tradition of Devel's Forging, with devil forgning chains and other objects. In the living quarters, people can taste typical seasonal sweets and food, and special activites like sugar-painting ginger breads, are organized for children.