School 10 from Cluj-Napoca

Saint Nicholas

Page 1
In the Christian world we celebrate the name of the wise king Nicholas, the Patriarch of Antionia, sanctified in the first ages of Christianity.
The holy books and our Romanian legends say that on the 6th of December Nicholas (form the Greek Nicholaos, the winner) used to share gifts to the children, to the poor and to the faithful.
From that day on, the Christian world has the tradition of giving presents to friends, children, to the ones in need. The though that everyone should have in mind during these moments is that “giving a gift makes you richer, not poorer”.
But what about the little rod we use to give to our friends? Is it used to reprimand someone?
Undoubtedly, this custom (which appeared 50-60 years ago) is a town-man’s element. It was either ‘borrowed’ r it was ‘home made’, but it never belonged to the countryside life.
We think that we witness a translation of customs from the village to the city. These customs suffer some changes due to the event or the frame in which they are used. In our sacred rites the little willow rods are used to make bouquets for New Year’s wishes.
But why willow rods and not some other tree?
In almost all the world’s cultures the willow and its regenerating powers is the symbol of the “Divine haw”.
©2000 Educe, Kristinehamn, Sweden. All rights reserved.
Drawings and text ©2000 School 10, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.