East and West European Santa Claus traditions unite in Spalding Market Place

Polish children with gifts from Santa Claus  known to them as St Nicolas (or in Polish Sw Mikolaj).
Polish children with gifts from Santa Claus  known to them as St Nicolas (or in Polish Sw Mikolaj).
  • Rotary Club of South Holland supports festive day
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Polish Christmas songs alternated with English ones at Spalding’s market on Tuesday as East and West Europeans celebrated St Nicolas Day.

December 6, the saint’s day, is the traditional day for Polish children to receive gifts from Santa (St Nicolas or Sw Mikolaj) – rather than December 25, the day excited English children find presents left in their homes by Santa Claus.

The Rotary Club of South Holland played music from both nations from their Santa sleigh – while there was a similar meeting of minds and festive spirit at a stall manned by Polish nationals.

Agate Mirek, one of the organisers of the Polish stall, said all-comers were being invited to sign a huge Christmas card, including their seasonal wishes, and children of all nationalities living locally were handed gifts and sweets by Santa.

There was also a paper chain growing by the minute as shoppers added loops.

Agate told us: “This celebration is for everybody.”

Rotarians helped celebrate Polish Santa Claus Day by playing a selection of Polish and English festive tunes in Hall Place, Spalding.  ANL-160612-165052001.

Rotarians helped celebrate Polish Santa Claus Day by playing a selection of Polish and English festive tunes in Hall Place, Spalding. ANL-160612-165052001.

Among the visitors were children from Spalding’s Monkshouse Primary School and the local Polish School.

Meanwhile, the Rotary Club’s Santa sleigh is a fixture in Spalding Market Place before Christmas.

Familiar tunes like White Christmas were being played with familiar and unfamiliar words to English ears. It was another step towards helping English people understand Polish traditions and helping Polish people feel more at home. Rotarian Robert Molson said: “We are playing Polish and English music alternately.”

• What do you think about communities reaching out to one another? Email spaldingeditor@jpress.co.uk

This celebration is for everybody

Agate Mirek, organisers of Polish-themed stall for St Nicolas Day