O Tannenbaum performed by Vienna Boys Choir

Beautiful voices blending together for a glorious salute to the Christmas tree. O Tannenbaum is German for Oh Christmas Tree, where it is said the decorating of a Holiday tree began. The song is often sung round the tree on Feast of St. Nicholas and throughout the Holiday Season.

Vienna Boys Choir, Song: O Tannenbaum (a traditional Christmas carol), Album: Christmas Angels, Hans Gillesberger, 1978, RCA Gold Seal. Re-released in 1995.

The Feast of St. Nicholas by Jan Steen The Feast of St. Nicholas

Saint Nicholas or Nicholas of Myra born c. 270, Patara, Lycia, died 6 December 343, Myra, Lycia is considered the patron Saint of sailors in Greece, of lawyers in France, and of children and travelers in Belgium. There are thousands of churches dedicated to St. Nicholas.

In the 12th century an official church holiday ‘The Feast of St. Nicholas’ celebrated December 6, was created in his honor. Traditionally this is a day of gift-giving and charity. St. Nicholas is one who may bring toys, nuts and gifts to children. On the eve of the feast some children leave their shoes by the hearth or outside. During the night they’re filled with goodies or switches (for nice or naughty children).  Who fills the shoes varies from country to country from the 3 wise men to St. Nicolas to baby Jesus to angels or the elder males of the family. A glorious happy day of celebration.

May your shoes be filled with your heart desires!  Happy St. Nicholas Day.

 

Vienna Boys’ Choir (German Wiener Sängerknaben) was formally created by Maximilian I of Habsburg in 1498. It  is one of the best known boys’ choirs performing worldwide. The Choir is divided into four touring choirs of equal standing; tours, appearances in Vienna and recording projects are shared among them. The touring choirs are named after famous Austrian composers Bruckner, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. You can read more, see schedules and music at their website Wiener Sängerknaben.

The painting above left is The Feast of St. Nicholas by Jan Steen c. 1660-65. Oil on canvas, 82 x 70.5 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  You can see more painting by Jan Steen at Olga’s Gallery.

~Bonnee Klein Gilligan

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