St. Nicholas’ day, which takes place on the 6th of December, is one of the most interesting Germanic traditions that characterise the daily life of Gressoney’s Walser community.
This feast is still very important because children await “St. Kloas” with trepidation. On the eve of his coming they go from door to door, distributing a small card with their own name. When they ask: “Will St. Nicholas come along?” people usually answer: Yes, of course” and they hide the cards under a dish, where during the night the saint will put the gifts!
In ancient times St. Nicholas was very poor and therefore he only brought fruit, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, some sweets…. and sometimes a cane for disobedient children!
Everything was usually eaten, the nuts excepted. Since people believed, that this fruit had been blessed by the saint, they were used to keeping it in their pockets in order to protect themselves against danger.