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John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.

Polish Tradition -- St. Nicholas Day -- Dzieri Swietego Mikolaja

   December 6th is St. Nicholas Day, Dzieri Swietego Mikolaja, and ii brings a small reprieve to the gray monotonous days, especially to children, who feel that Christmas is still so far away. Someone in the family was usually selected to be St, Nicholas and in villages. he would be driven in a sleigh from house to house.  He would be dressed in a long white or red robe, wearing a tall headpiece  much like a bishop's  mitre, a white flowing beard, and in his hand he held a shepherd's staff. He asked children if they had been naughty or nice and if they knew their prayers, and then he gave them sweets, nuts, and apples pulled from under his cloak. In case St. Nicholas could not make the visit personally, his gifts were placed under the children's pillows or in their shoes during the night.

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Information provided here was provided by the Polish Women's Alliance of America.  pwaa.org

1-888-522-1898

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