St. Nicholas is named for the fourth-century Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, a coastal region in what is now western Turkey.
Because he is our patron saint, we have a special celebration on his feast day, December 6. Most years that celebration is a special vespers service followed by dinner on December 5 (we count the day as beginning at sunset the previous day). (Check the calendar for this year’s schedule.)
St. Nicholas Day is a gala celebration. The vespers service includes music of our preparation for Nativity (Christmas), just around the corner, along with music celebrating the memory of one of the most popular saints in the world, not just in Orthodoxy but throughout Christendom.
At the dinner after the service, we sometimes have a visit from St. Nicholas, carrying a bishop’s staff and passing out treats to the children young and old.