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St.Nikolaustag – a German tradition

Christmas music flows through the doors of room 242, providing an ambiance fitting for the festivities to come. Students lounge throughout the classroom, chatting with one another about today’s adventures. But they’re sitting in heavy anticipation.

There is a knock at the door.

It’s time to find those shoes.

Saint Nikolaustag is a German holiday, celebrated on Dec. 10 in honor of Saint Nikolaus, a generous bishop from the days of yore. It’s a yearly tradition for the German Club, and German Teacher Rebecca Petrilli has been celebrating St. Nikoklaustag since she came to South.

“I think it’s a fun way to incorporate culture from Germany and bring some excitement into class,” Petrilli said. “A lot of kids really connect with the language and culture.”

In Germany, St. NikolausTag is celebrated by children and adults alike, putting their shoes outside their doors. Then, under the cover of night, St. Nikolaus himself puts candy into the shoes of the nice, whilst his companion Knecht Ruprecht (aka Krampus) delivers sticks to the naughty. At South, the festivities are performed a little differently. One of every person’s shoes lines the door, and they are hidden all throughout the second floor of the school by the officers. German Club Vice President Lorelai Wohlfarth ’25 takes her shoe-hiding job very seriously.

“We like putting (the shoes) as high as possible because it’s hard to reach,” Wohlfarth said.

It’s a frantic rush to locate your shoe, and it’s no easy task. Outside of windows, above lockers, peeking out from behind the display cases: anywhere the iridescent lights touch, there could be a shoe there. But even if there is a stick in the shoe, it’s all in good fun, and the students can get their candy afterward.

“It’s always so much fun to add candy and hide the shoes,” Wohlfarth said. “And it’s always funny to see people’s reactions as well.”

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About the Contributor
Kai Tibbitts '24
Kai Tibbitts '24, Page Editor
Kai Tibbitts is one of the brightest people in Tower. She's very outgoing and incredibly friendly to talk to, as well as being involved in South's Orchestra and Pointe Players. Her favorite part of Tower is being involved with everybody, but her main passion lies in designing art. "I just really like designing stuff, and I really enjoy being in a class dedicated to design. I'm involved in plays as one of the assistant stage managers, and I also work with art, designing props," said Kai. "I'm a perfectionist when it comes to things I'm passionate about." Kai loves her position on Tower as a page editor, as it allows her to communicate with others to improve her work. Outside of Tower, you can find her in Orchestra, with Pointe Players or hanging out with friends.

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