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Today is the feast day of St Nicholas. Hooray!

He was bishop of Myra (in Turkey) in the fourth century, and there are many legends of him, including that he helped some young ladies get married by throwing money for their dowries into their gardens (or possibly, into their house, where some money landed in a sock that was hanging up to dry by the fire).

In consequence of which, many children put out their shoes or slippers for him to bring them presents; in our house, he brings chocolate, including chocolate coins, and miniature chocolate St Nicholases (sometimes they look more like St Nicholas, sometimes a bit like Santa Claus).

Here is a little bit of Britten’s Cantata St Nicolas: