On Dec. 6th the Germans celebrate “Nikolaus”, the memorial day of "Saint Nicholas" who was born about the year 286. Nicholas of Myra is one of the most popular saints in the Catholic, Anglican and Protestant church.
Since the 17th Century “St. Nicholas Day” is celebrated as a tradition of giving gifts.
Children put their boots or a plate at the door or a window sill on the evening of the 5th December, so that St. Nicholas can fill them in at night. Of course he is never seen doing this ;-).
But you can see some “St. Nikolaus” walking around town. Check for dates and places below! The more traditional ones wear the bishop’s costume like on the photo. As Santa Claus originates in the same historical person, nowadays the tradition becomes mixed up with the more Americanized Santa Claus and many “Nikolaus’” wear the red and white “CocaCola” Costume as well… He sometime is accompanied by a helper who punishes the “bad” children, called “Krampus” in Munich.
Marienplatz Christmas market:
5th and 6.12., 17:30 Speech by Nicolas on the town hall balcony
Mon-Fri 11:00 - 13:00 clock: Nicholas distributes apples and nuts to children
6.12. 16:00 Clock: Santa Claus visits the skaters and spectators
Nicholas steam train ride around Munich:
4.12. and 11.12.; 4 times per day with Nicholas and Krampus on board. Starts at Munich Ostbahnhof. One hour ride around Munich.
St. Nicholas pays a visit to the city markets and gives out small gifts:
Viktualienmarkt 06.12., 14-16 o’Clock
Market on Wiener Platz: 06.12., 15-16 o’ Clock
Elizabeth Market: 10.12., 11-12 o’Clock
6.12, 15:30-19:00 o’Clock: Santa Claus comes to children in the MVG ChristkindlTram tram. The tram starts at Sendlinger Tor. Rides around town for about 1 hour.