Join me on a whimsical journey through Vienna's unique tradition of Nikolo and Krampus!

Nikolo is a symbol of kindness and generosity in Vienna!

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Welcome to day five of our Vienna Advent Calendar. Podcast Today. we explore the heartwarming tradition of Nikolo in Vienna, a celebration of kindness, generosity, and the joy of giving. As we explore this festive occasion, we'll also briefly touch upon the figure of Krampus, who, in stark contrast to Nikolo, accompanies him in chains, symbolizing the triumph of good over mischief.

Make sure to watch our Advent Calendar video shorts for a visual and musical impression of Vienna's unique tradition of Nikolo and Krampus. You can find it on our Substack home page, The Multicultural, under the Podcast section entitled Vienna Vignettes.


In Vienna, Nikolo, also known as Saint Nicholas, is not just a figure of folklore but a beloved part of the Advent season. He is the embodiment of goodness, visiting children in schools, kindergartens, Advent markets, and homes. Dressed in his traditional bishop's attire, Nikolo carries a big book, from which he reads stories and notes about the children's behavior throughout the year.

It's a magical sight to see children's eyes light up as Nikolo presents them with gifts of sweets, citrus fruits, and nuts – rewards for their good behavior. These treats are more than just snacks; they are symbols of Nikolo's benevolence and care.

In Vienna, it's also customary to exchange chocolate figures of Nikolo as a gesture of goodwill and affection, further spreading the joy and spirit of the season. These chocolate figures are a sweet reminder of Nikolo's presence and the happiness he brings.

While the Krampus may lurk nearby, their role is more of a playful warning rather than a real threat, serving as a reminder that Nikolo's kindness and generosity are the true focus of the day. In the end, it's Nikolo who triumphs, bringing joy and warmth to the hearts of children and adults alike.

Join us in this heartwarming celebration of Vienna's Nikolo tradition, where the spirit of giving comes alive, and the joys of the festive season are shared by all.

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