Saint Sylvester’s Day also known as Sylvester is the day of the Feast of Pope Sylvester I, a saint who served as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 314 to 335.
The feast day is held on the anniversary of Sylvester’s death, 31 December, a date that, since the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, has coincided with New Year’s Eve.
St. Sylvester oversaw both the First Council of Nicaea and Roman Emperor Constantine I’s conversion to Christianity.
Saint Sylvester’s Day Celebrations :
In many European countries, the St. Sylvester’s Day celebrations are conducted in close conjunction with New Year’s Eve celebrations.
In Switzerland, St. Sylvester day is celebrated by lighting bonfires in the mountains and ringing church bells to signal the passing of the old year and the beginning of the new.
In Belgium, the last child to rise from bed on Dec. 31 is nicknamed Sylvester for the year.
In Austria, Hungary, and Germany, restaurants and cafe owners set a pig loose at midnight, while in private homes, a marzipan pig may be hung from the ceiling. at midnight, everyone tries to touch the pig because it is considered a symbol of good luck.
In Germany, everyone eats a piece of the St. Sylvester’s Day carp. Many of those people also will keep scales from the fish for luck in the New Year.