Aghios Nikolaos, Saint Nicholas, Dear Santa!

Aghios Nikolaos, Saint Nicholas, Dear Santa!

Dear Santa,

It is December 6th, and our village Aghios Nikolaos in Lakonía, Greece, celebrates… you!

You see, Lakonía – Imports family roots are lying down deep to a small village called Aghios Nikolaos, which is the Greek name for Saint Nicholas!

Aghios Nikolaos, Lakonia Prefecture, Greece (Courtesy of Maria Maroulakou Photography).

Santa Claus, as well as the British Father Christmas, derives from Saint Nicholas, while “Santa Claus” in particular, partially derives from the Dutch “Sinterklaas”, the saint’s name in that language.

The central church of the village stands as an iconic greek orthodox temple made of stone, with its traces being lost back to medieval times.

Saint Nicholas Church, Aghios Nikolaos, Lakonia, Greece (Courtesy of Maria Maroulakou Photography).

 

Fresco detail inside Saint Nicholas church, Aghios Nikolaos, Lakonia, Greece (Courtesy of Maria Maroulakou Photography).

The church operates only once a year (every December 6th), holding a traditional ceremony to celebrate the patron saint of sailors, Aghios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas).

Candles burning inside Aghios Nikolaos church, Lakonia, Greece (Courtesy of Maria Maroulakou Photography).

Name trivia: Nikolaos aka Niko(s) is the Greek name many Greeks are named after the famous saint and they celebrate also on December 6th. Niki aka Nike is the original female version of the name and is the name of the Greek goddess of Glory. In Greek, it literally means “victory – win”. The name “Nike” was made famous worldwide by the homonymous sports brand! “Laos” is the Greek word for people, which makes Nikolaos a name that carries an actual meaning, “the one who drives people to victory”!

December the 6th and Saint Nicholas celebrations, mark also the opening of the new harvest season for olive tree groves across Greece!

Peter(left) and Kyriakos(right), celebrate with Nikos (middle), during the opening of the new harvest season(Courtesy of Maria Maroulakou Photography).

Did you know?

Almost 99% percent of all lamps’ flames you may come across to Greek orthodox temples across the world are burning with…

olive oil!

A traditional lamp burning sacred oil in Saint Nicholas church, Aghios Nikolaos, Lakonia, Greece. (Courtesy of Maria Maroulakou Photography).

Happy Saint Nicholas Day to all, Happy New Harvest!!!

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