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December 6 2024

Boots in front of door

Saint Nicholas Day, Nikolaustag, is traditionally celebrated on December 6 in honour of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children. And also students, merchants, archers, sailors, fishermen, pawnbrokers, thieves and the falsely accused! Saint Nicholas was Bishop of Myra in southern Anatolia, and became well known for his good deeds in the fourth century AD.

In Düsseldorf and all across Germany children place shoes, boots or a plate in front of their bedroom door late on the evening of December 5. A long and popular tradition tells us that if they have been kind or well behaved then sweets or small gifts will be left overnight by the mysterious Saint Nicholas.

In some catholic areas of Germany a man dressed as a bishop travels from house to house. Similar customs can also be found in US cities with strong German influence like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, St. Louis or Columbus.

By Vincent Green, Jan 3 2022

Artist performing on carpet


Art venues and museums in Düsseldorf regularly present selections of their fine pieces in well arranged exhibitions. Regular exhibits also include fascinating or rare works from across the globe with loaned art and artefacts.




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It’s an old cliché but many foreigners
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