Today is St. Nicholas Day. Who is St. Nick? Is he the "real" Santa Claus? We've got the answers (no spoilers!).
Speaking of gift-giving, are you looking for the present of a lifetime? Join us this February when we visit Alaska to see the glorious northern lights! This trip will be led by our very own Bob Berman, Almanac astronomer. Take a look below.
Also in this Companion is a new column by Bob about "the darkest day of the year." If it feels like it's darker NOW than on the winter solstice, you're right!
Your Almanac Editors
Then came the merry maskers in,
And carols roar'd with blithesome din.
–Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)
Was Saint Nicholas a real person? Is he the true Santa Claus and Father Christmas? Find out about the history of St. Nicholas Day and the traditions associated with this holiday (leave out those shoes!).
The December birthstone, turquoise, is regarded as a love charm. It is also a symbol of good fortune and success and is believed to relax the mind and to protect its wearer from harm. Turquoise rings, in particular, are thought to keep away evil spirits.