Sv. Nikolaj oziroma Miklavž z angeli in parklji v nemškem mestu Altötting. Vir: Jesusfernandez/Dreamstime
Sv. Nikolaj oziroma Miklavž z angeli in parklji v nemškem mestu Altötting. Vir: Jesusfernandez/Dreamstime

St. Nicholas is coming with his angels and devils

December is here, and with it comes three good men that we are all looking forward to.

Saint Nicholas, known as “Miklavž” in Slovenia, will be the first to visit us tonight! He is known for bringing holiday goodies.

He is a kind and humble man, who is most easily recognized by his white clothes and long curved staff. He wears a tall red headdress.

He silently sneaks into homes on the night of December 5th to 6th.

He leaves a humble gift, such as candy, fruit, or simple toys, for children who have been good. According to tradition, he brings a whip to the naughty ones.

Each year Saint Nicholas also walks through the major cities in the Saint Nicholas Procession. The characters who accompany him are loud and varied, but the devils certainly stand out the most.

They are known for their long red tongues, furry bodies, and large horns. They rattle chains and bells to scare children – especially the naughty ones! Of course with a good purpose – so that the children will be more diligent next year!

In some places in Slovenia, the devils come to haunt a few days before St. Nicholas Eve so that children have a chance to change their behavior before St. Nick arrives!

The exact opposite of the devils are the angels. They help Saint Nicholas greet the well-behaved children and give them candy, fruit, and other goodies.

Despite their awfulness, the devils are actually a very popular character, even immortalized as a holiday treat made of bread.

Parklji za pojest. Foto: Rebecca Svetina
Devil bread. Photo: Rebecca Svetina

Making the devil bread is one of the most widespread St. Nicholas traditions in Slovenia.

Slovenes prepare them in different ways.

They can be sweet or savory, from yeast or puff pastry.

They are also baked as cookies in the shape of the devils.

Would you like to try baking delicious devils made of almonds and raisins?

Points to Consider

  1. Are you afraid of the devils, too? Why, or why not?
  2. Do you know how to prepare for the arrival of Saint Nicholas on the evening of Dec. 5th?
  3. Do you know what else they call Saint Nicholas?


The original version of this article was published on December 5th.

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Svetina is an English translator, EFL educator, and graphic designer. She is an American who has lived in Slovenia since 2008. She loves hiking and traveling with her family.

Vprašanje tedna


Ljubljana Slovenia

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