The wonder of the “Magic Night”

Anush Yepremyan

Europe is known for its numerous holidays and long vacations, which I do not mind of course. Who would not want 6 weeks of vacation? One of my favorite holidays are winter holidays, and series of vacations during that period is not the reason. Okay, maybe partially. I just adore all the decorations on the streets, the precious smell of Christmas trees and tangerine and just the spirit and anticipation of “magic.”

In Ukraine, we do not celebrate Christmas in December; it is usually on Jan. 7. Instead, the New Year, which is celebrated on December 31, is considered to be one of the most awaited and celebrated holidays. However, on the night of Dec. 18 to 19 is called the “Magic Night” or simply Saint Nicholas Day. It is considered to be a universal festival for children.

St. Nicholas is not Santa Clause, even though he has a reputation of a gift bringer. Nicholas lived in a wealthy family but, out of compassion for others, he left himself only those things that were necessary and the rest he distributed to the poor. The very legend of Saint Nicholas is riddled with enormous kindness, selflessness and generosity.

Saint Nicholas comes only to children on the night of Dec. 18 to 19 and delivers gifts and surprises. In order to get a gift from St. Nicholas, one should simply be obedient and nice. According to legends, he comes down from the sky accompanied by two angels: one is good, and the other one is evil. The angel whispers the good deeds of the child, and the devil indicates child’s bad deeds. It is believed that only obedient children receive the gift. In the morning, children can find candy or little gifts under the pillow, behind the window or in their shoes.

I remember, when I was eight years old, there was tedious waiting and a ready soft pillow, and falling asleep gave me the sense of something special. Once, I tried to stay awake the whole night and catch the moment. I know that not every child, or at least not at a certain age, believes in fairytales. So what?

If the child believes, the magic will come true by all means. Kids like to receive presents regardless from who they are from, whether it is from mysterious St. Nicholas or real loving parents.

I think everyone of us deserves to have a little bit of magic in our lives because we constantly get older, not younger. Give magic and create special and unforgettable moments!

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