It has become a good tradition in Uzhgorod to start the winter holiday season with the celebration of the St. Nicholas day, which in the Eastern Orthodox Church calendar falls on December 19th.
This year, the St. Nicholas day in Uzhgorod will be celebrated for the 4th time with a parade of St. Nicholas’s “young aides.” These “little Nicholases” (Mykolaychyky) in red costumes will be handing out sweets and singing Christmas songs, and then will all come down to the city’s central Teatral’na square, where the main Christmas tree of Uzhgorod is already waiting for them. The little Nicholases will decorate it with ornaments made by their fellow Uzhgorod’s schoolchildren.
In 2010, almost 1,000 little aides of St. Nicholas took part in the parade. This year, in addition to the “little Nicholases,” there will be about a hundred of grown-up ones among them. A year ago, the celebration was marked by an unveiling of a bronze statue of a saint’s aide, and this year, the parade’s organizers will present a special colorful mailbox that Uzhgorod’s kids will be able to use to send letters to their patron.
The celebration is promising to be a lot of fun. Here’s how it was back in 2009: