Within the Rhine Valley, St. Nicolas has been the all-important patron of the sailors.
All Captains joined St. Nicolas Guild, managing the sailing routes and rights along River Rhine.
From 16th century using Assmannshausen’s revered „Krone“ for a guild hall.
Until today, the traditional St. Nicolas Blessing of the Fleet shows the central importance of the village.
Much more important for all families of course is St Nicolas
visiting schools and families for gift-giving.
Legends explain and tell the filling of the boots (in Germany instead of stockings) and the traditional gifts of gingerbread, nuts and oranges.
Originally visiting medieval schools for festive inspections as ‘Speculator’, the Spekulatius, a special stamped gingerbread is the spicy special of the day.
The surprising turnaround came with Clement Clarke Moore’s poem „Twas the Night before Christmas“, connecting Nicolas with reindeer, chimneys and Christmas Eve.
Nikolaus became Santa Claus (Code Name „Kriss Kringle“),
hired Elves, a Polar Workshop and some dependencies in department stores, and got a new bi-colour suit.
Therefor, since 1955 at Christmas Night he is followed by NORAD www.noradsanta.org.
Regardless which kind of tradition one is keen to follow,
Nicolas at Rüdesheim is soundly celebrated.
On his day on the 6th of December at 10:00 am
the traditional Giving to the Children is taking place at Oberstraße.
The following Sunday of Advent hosts the traditional Blessing of the Fleet at Assmannshausen.