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Christmas in Slovakia begins with Svateg Nikulas Day, St. Nicholas Day, on December 6, and ends on January 6th with a visit from the Tri Kralu (Three Kings). Children
anxiously await the arrival of St. Nicholas, who comes with an Angel carrying a bag of treats for good children and coal or old potatoes for those who have been naughty.
Children must recite their prayers perfectly in order to be in the ''good'' category. Christmas preparations include making gifts and decorations. The whole family partakes
in the Christmas baking, as Slovakians, once part of the Hungarian Empire, are renown for their wonderful pastries. Christmas trees are decorated with eggshell ornaments,
colored pinwheels made to look like snowflakes and gilded walnuts. A creche is often placed beneath the tree. An abundance of music, wonderful customs and famous people
come out of Slovakia. The famous carol Good King Wenceslaus, Noble Prize winner Joroslav Heyrovsky, puppeteer Jiri Trnka, Author Franz Kafka, and composer Antonin Dvorak
are but a few recognizable names from this region of the world. Pipka, who was born in Slovakia, has created a Slovakian Santa representing the simplicity and
colorfulness of Christmas in Slovakia. He wears a heavily embroidered coat lined in white fur; leather pants and boots embroidered with red hearts and scrolls; and
the traditional pleated lace blouse and studded belt. He brings the most important elements of Christmas: a creche and a small fresh cut tree which will be put on
display Christmas Eve. The Slovak Santa embodies all that is beautiful and important at Christmas time.