Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Baba Noel

"Baba Noel" is what Santa Claus is called in southwest Turkey, and who should know better, for this is where the Santa Claus legend began.

Nicholas was a fourth century bishop in Myra, on the Mediterranean coast. He is said to have saved the three daughters of a poor family from a life of slavery by leaving bags of gold at their door. Beatified, he became known as Saint Nicholas, and the name, going through various national spellings and pronunciations, especially the Dutch "Sant Nikolaas," eventually became "Santa Claus."

The ancient city of Myra has long been gone, but the Church of St. Nicholas is still standing.

Not surprisingly, Nicholas is the patron saint of children, but he is also the patron of pawnbrokers and brewers. And as today is the feast day of Nicholas, have a brew for him.

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