Families celebrate German heritage with Saint Nikolaus

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Saint Nikolaus spent part of his busy day celebrating at the Athenaeum in Indianapolis.

In some parts of the world, Dec. 6 is Saint Nikolaus Day, when he goes from house to house.

Legend has it he rewards kids who’ve been good with little gifts.

Santa Claus is derived from Saint Nikolaus.

“Saint Nikolaus is the patron saint of December 6, and in Germany, it was tied to Christmas,” Athenaeum Foundation President Cassie Stockamp explained. “So this is a celebration of Germanic heritage, and the kids today have made gingerbread houses, they’ve made Christmas ornaments of paper folding [and] they’ve learned some German dances.”

Kids who attended Sunday’s celebration at the Athenaeum got to sign the book that has the name and age of every child who’s visited Saint Nikolaus since 1985.