Sou! Haut ass also Kleesschen. Ech hu ma geduecht dass ech amfong misst fir den 6ten Dezember dem Hellegen Niklos en Post opferen. Well wien wees schon waat de Kleeschen fir eist klengt Land bedeit? Dofir erklären ech daat ganzt elo emol op enger Weltsprooch. An villeicht , enges daags , feiert een Sint Niklaas jo och zu Sideney.
Kleeschen is the unique luxembourgish designation for the Saint Nicholas. One can name him Nikolaus, Sint Niklaas, Zinni Kleeschen and Zinniklos ass well. However, usually one says only Kleeschen. Not to confuse with the SANTA CLAUS! The Saint Nicholas visits children from all over the globe (just the particular who were sympathetic) during the night from 5 to 6th December. Usually without exception he spots an entrance to the houses. Luxembourg is the exclusive country in the entire World that accords a day-off-school to each child in primary school on the 6th of December.
What does our Kleeschen look like? Where does he come from?
The Zinniklos is an elderly hairy gentleman, and he resembles like this :
His style: the Bishop fashion.
Clearly because he is an archbishop, a believer also called Nikolaos of Myra. Because of the multiplied wonders referred to to his intervention, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. He has a reputation for clandestine gift-giving, such as inserting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him.
Still nowadays, a couple of weeks before this 6th December, children put their shoes outside their chamber during nighttime. When the children get up in the morning, assumed that they conduct theirselves adequately, they will find a tiny surprise in their shoes.
Supposing that they were not generous because of any reason (for example,they lied about something or disputed with theirsiblings) he and she simply get a tree branch (Rute) in their boots instead. It is the Kleeschen’s assistant who delivers the tree branch, a Naughty helper with black face and colorful Moorish dress called Houseker .Sometimes a Nikolaus impersonator additionally visits the children at school or in their houses and questions them if they have been good (sometimes seemingly checking his golden book for their record), handing out presents.
In each supermarket in Luxembourg, one can detect a particular Kleeschen. He sits there on a gigantic golden chair and waits for the children to appear on his knees. Next, he explains them that they should always behave well; otherwise he will not hand out any gifts. Children generally are extremely shy at the moment when they go to the Kleeschen.
On the evening of the 5th December children put a carrot or a little sugar on a plate as a gift to St. Nicholas’ donkey. They install the plate in front of the window. Often children cannot sleep on that night since they crave to wait for the Saint Nicholas.
During that night, the children are extremely excited (my personal experience…).
On the next morning then, the whole living-room is entirely overflowed with toys, sweets and everything children want, under the one condition that they have to behave suitably during the year.
When I was a little girl, Zinniklos-day happened to be the best day of the year. Even better than my birthday. In the morning, my mom put the Kleesschen tune on (Leiwen Kleeschen), together with my brother we discovered the numerous presents.
I had faith in the Kleeschen, and I honestly was convinced that he would exist.
Later, when my father thought I was old enough to understand that the Zinniklos does not exist, I cried the whole day. It was a real drama. That is why me and my family are still celebrating it each time. This morning I put the song (leiwen kleeschen) on again. Probably we are the only family that, with children aged 23 and 27, still jubilate den Zinniklos.