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Polonius3 983 | 12,333  
6 Dec 2008 /  #1
Today is the feastday of St Nicholas, but what has happened to him. In the 1950s he was forcibly replaced by a Soviet-stykle Santa called Dyed Moroz (Grandpa Frost). After stalinism subsided, a Mikołaj was allowed to return, but it was no longer the kindly bishop Św. Mikołąj but a red-suited chararcter similar to Germany's Weihnachstmann. When communism was toppled, the Święty was added to Mikołaj's name, but what emerged was a garden-dwarf-style American Sandy Clutz -- the patron of greedy businessmen and spoiled brats as in "And what do you WANT for Christmas, little boy?" The world's best advertising agent invented by the Coca-Cola Co. in their company red & white colours in the 1930s has replaced the warm, kindly, grandfatherly figure of the real Św. Mikołąj.

Fortuantely there is a small but devoted group active in Poland and Polonia that are promoting the slogan:
Św. Mikołaj jest dobrym biskupem, nie krasnogłupem!
(St Nicholas is a kindly bishop, not an Elf-Creep!)
More info on St Nick at:
SeanBM 35 | 5,792  
6 Dec 2008 /  #2
Hello Polonius3,

Today is ŚWIĘTY MIKO£AJ day in Poland.
One of the things that surprised me about Poland when i first came here, was that St. Nicolas was a bishop. People have pictures of the bishop in thier homes and generally do not use the coca cola red white fat Elf-Creep.

I have gotton used to seeing ŚWIĘTY MIKO£AJ as a bishop and not what you are talking about but I am led to believe they do use the coca cola elf for advertising on TV but i am not sure, I don't own a TV.

When were you in Poland for Christmas last Polonius3?.
OP Polonius3 983 | 12,333  
6 Dec 2008 /  #3
Xmas 2007. Even in that bastion of tradition, Kraków, the loudly media-proclaimed arrival of Święty Mikołaj at Rynek Główny turned into the arrival of Santa-Creep.

Try to find a Święty Mikołaj chocolate figure in any Polish supermarket. After much effort you may do, but the market is mainly flooded with chocolate Sandy Clutzes. Try to hire Święty Mikołaj to visit your kids at home and again it will be only the Garden Dwarf. You tell me why!
Moonlighting 31 | 234  
6 Dec 2008 /  #4
Wow! So that's how it is now in Poland? Here in Belgium, still Catholic but where religion is not as present with people as in Poland, "Saint Nicolas" (in French) is still always represented as you would expect:
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,146  
6 Dec 2008 /  #5
Good. Be gone ugly dwarf.
plk123 8 | 4,134  
6 Dec 2008 /  #6
coca cola has hardly anything to do with mikolaj.
OP Polonius3 983 | 12,333  
7 Dec 2008 /  #7
Before a Coca-Cola CO. commerciakl artists in the 1930s penned the image of the overgrown beer-bellied elf in a silly red suit trimmed with white fur, Santa in America came in various colors--blue, green, gold, purple and yes, even red. He wore a long robe or longish coat, a brown fur cap, etc. In other words that highly promoted Coca-Cola version caught on (they didn't patent or copyright it) and after WW2 began eroding the European St Nicholas. But nowhere is the erosion as compelte as in Poland. In other countreis at least kdis differentiate btween der Weihnachstamnn (Santa) and Sankt Niklaus, Père Noël and Saint Nicolas. In Germany there is a media-promtoed camapign to cretae a zone, and soem Dutch towns actually have an ordinance against Santa appearing before St Nicholas festivities take place. Sint Niklaas is the real thign, while Krisman (sp?) is the garden-dwarf character. The agnostic Czechs are esepcially adamant about preserving the St Nicholas with angel and devil tradition. But the ostensibly staunchly Catholics Poles, well: Co Jankes wymyśli Polak polubi! (Poles lap up whatever Yanks think up!)
osiol 55 | 3,921  
7 Dec 2008 /  #8
(they didn't patent or copyright it)

Perhaps they should have. If it all happened a few years later, they probably would have done.

But nowhere is the erosion as compelte as in Poland.

I doubt it.

I've often thought:

Fat b@stard & chimney - it's not going to work
Chimney & glass-fronted fireplace - it's not going to work
Osioł & co-cack-ola - it's just not going to work


Is this proper Polish?
purplelady 1 | 32  
7 Dec 2008 /  #9
My grandparents came to the US from Poland in the early 1900s. They settled in the midwestern US where I still live. You're right, it is difficult to find the traditional Święty Mikołaj (or many other Christian traditions) in the US commercial culture. However, there is a growing number of us who were never heavily involved in the gift-giving commercial culture of the US. There are others who are returning to the culture of their ancestors into their family celebrations of the holiday. My Polish-American parish has sung kolędy at midnight mass for nearly 100 years, we share opłatki, we exhibit the nativity scene in our houses.

I'm celebrating St. Nicholas Day (a day late) by going to a 21st birthday party for my nephew, NICHOLAS! I was delighted when my sister named her son after this holy bishop!

Is there a special greeting for St. Nicholas Day?
OP Polonius3 983 | 12,333  
7 Dec 2008 /  #10
There is no special greeting for St Nick's day in Polish. This is mainly an occasion for the kids to get quizzed and rewarded with treats.
purplelady 1 | 32  
7 Dec 2008 /  #11
Thanks, Polonius. I think I'll just sing "sto lat" to him for my greeting!

Even though my nephew is 21, I'm sure he's not too old for treats :)
OP Polonius3 983 | 12,333  
7 Dec 2008 /  #12
This St Nick link may be of interest to some:
7 Dec 2008 /  #13

Św. Mikołaj sent me yesterday a text message that he cannot come over because he has too much going on... ass.... ;)
7 Dec 2008 /  #14
According to my youngest, he is a cheapskate. He brought some useless stuff, where a toy might have been more appropriate (according to her anyways).
wildrover 98 | 4,436  
7 Dec 2008 /  #15
So do Poles have a special meal on St Niks day like they do on the 25th , with the 13 dishes and such......?
OP Polonius3 983 | 12,333  
8 Dec 2008 /  #17
The pierniczki (little honey-spice or gingerbread cakes) Święty Mikołaj passes out are sometimes baked. At an odpust (parish indulgence-fair -- this event has not been disucssed here) one can somties run across St Nicholas gingerbread cakes with his paper image stuck on for hanging on the Chrsitmas tree. This is probably an import from the German-speaking world.

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