When it comes to saints, Saint Nicholas is favorite to many, especially in Croatia. It's said that he protects mariners, poor, bakers, fishermans, pharmacists, women... But most importantly – he loves children and children love him!
Croatian tradition is really sweet: children clean their boots on the night of December 5th, preparing them for the arrival of their favorite saint and placing them on the windows. Those who've been good are really excited and those who have been naughty have a fear that they'll find a birch stick in their boot, connected with punishment.
Saint Nicholas is not celebrated like Christmas and children usually get a boot full of candy, without any pricey gifts. If they are not behaving good, they are told that Saint Nicholas will come with his colleague – Krampus – who looks like a devil and is, honestly, a bit scary.
First thing in the morning of the December 6th for the most of Croatian children is running to the window and checking their boots. They usually discover that they got candy and a birch stick – which means that they've been good and naughty throughout the year.