Monday, December 5, 2011

Inspiration: Saint Nicholas

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Tomorrow's morning will be very special for all children in my country (and let's face it, us adults love this feast too :)). Saint Nicholas, called Mikuláš in Slovak and Czech, will be bringing delicious sweets and candies to all the baby hobbits who have been good for the past year. Those who have been bad should receive chuck of coal from the devil, but who knows - maybe even them will find something tasty in their polished boots placed on the windowsill :)


I couldn't resist posting this outfit, although I'm not satisfied with this composition very much. It would be so much easier to make Santa Claus using LoTRO cosmetics, but I wanted to portrait our European St. Nicholas. The tradition of him bringing little treats to those who deserve them is based on a beautiful legend, starring good-hearted Greek bishop Nikolaos of Myra:

"Legend says: a poor man had three daughters but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment would have to become prostitutes. Hearing of the poor man's plight, Nicholas decided to help him but being too modest to help the man in public (or to save the man the humiliation of accepting charity), he went to his house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the man's house."

Mikuláš, Middle-European version of St. Nicholas

In Middle Europe, Mikuláš travels accompanied by an angel and a devil and continues in doing good deeds of his predecessor. I'm very happy that we still keep this beautiful tradition. Today on my way from work, I had opportunity to watch many St. Nicholases, angels and devils visiting little children and making them rejoice. And I rejoiced silently too :)

Chest: Survivor's Robe, white dye (Quest: Vol. II, Book 1, Chapter 8: Before the Doors of Durin)
Head: Scholar's Hat, red dye (T4 crafted)
Hands: Oven Mitts, white dye (Skirmish cosmetic barter)
Feet: Ajokoira Shoes, red dye (T5 crafted)
Back: Yule Hoodless Cloak, red dye (Yule festival)

12 comments:

  1. I love this! It's so original and really brings out christmas spirit!

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  2. I just celebrated "Sinterklaas" yesterday evening with my family. It's still very much a living tradition here in the Netherlands. I think you came as close as can be to an ingame Saint Nicholas! :D

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  3. Wonderful! I had thought about suggesting the "Father Christmas" challenge to you, but Saint Nicholas himself is a much better idea. The hat is great. He couldn't exactly be a bishop in Middle Earth, but the hat has just enough resemblance to suggest the idea and imply a similar status. (An alternative might be the level 35 "Scholar's Armour" hat, did you try that?) The coat is great too; much better than if you had made it red. And the cloak is ideal of course.

    Not only is the outfit brilliant; the beard is perfect too.

    It's a shame you can't have a donkey mount in LOTRO...

    Now, where is Black Peter? Could a hobbit dressed all in black peer out at us from behind him, please? He should really have a sack, but maybe a large backpack would do. :-)

    In a version of the tale I have heard, the three daughters had arranged their shoes by the fireplace and the bags of coins thrown by Saint Nicholas landed in them.

    Absolutely brilliant, I hope the Saint is pleased with your effort and brings you something nice today!

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  4. you did came close to saint nicholas as possible. It's briljant. Well done and thank you for remembering "our" tradition Lotro style.

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  5. Donkey mount?? Saint Nicholas rides a beautiful and gracious white steed!! :S

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  6. Doh, of course you tried the Scholar's hat, it's the one he's wearing! Sorry. It just looked different on a dwarf.

    No donkey? I was sure it was a donkey, in northern France at least. Maybe he keeps different mounts in different parts of Europe, like I do in LOTRO? Well, anyway, a white horse isn't going to be a problem, you can get those from the elves.

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  7. thanks so much guys for wonderful comments *mass hug*

    actually, in slovakia or czech republic, st. nicholas doesn't ride any mount - he goes in trio with an angel and a devil :) this is how they typically visit children:
    http://czechfolks.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/mikulas.jpg

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  8. In Holland he rides a white steed called Amerigo, and he is accomanied by many helpers called Black Peters

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  9. the Dutch version:
    http://www.trotsemoeders.nl/wp-content/uploads/sinterklaas-en-zwarte-piet.jpg

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  10. yeeeey, I like it very much!

    loki

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