Traditional Czech Christmas

If you are in Prague before Christmas, you can feel Christmas mood everywhere around you. There is a richly decorated Christmas tree on every bigger Square, there is a Christmas market on Old Town Square, decorations in almost every shop and Christmas music is playing everywhere. But have you ever wondered how ordinary Czech people spend Christmas?

The first thing, which may surprise you, is the fact, that it is not Santa Claus who gives gifts to little kids in the Czech Republic, but Little Jesus. He comes to the house silently in the evening of 24th of December, without being seen by anyone and leaves all the gifts under the Christmas tree. And in some families, he even brings the tree and decorates it. When he is ready, before disappearing, rings on a little bell, and then kids run into the room, amazed what Little Jesus had left there for them. To thank him, kids (accompanied by the rest of the family) can sing some Christmas songs celebrating his nativity, and then all the family has dinner.

The typical Czech Christmas dinner is very rich and for someone can be pretty unusual, compared with what is typical to eat for Christmas dinner in the U.K., the USA or other countries. In some families, they have a starter, which can be ham, cheese, some vegetable salad or so on, then usually comes a fish soup, made from a carp and some vegetable. The main dish is the most often a fish – a carp, accompanied with a homemade potato salad (consisting of potatoes, vegetable, and salad cream, also sometimes ham). Alternative main dish is so called “kuba”; an old Czech meal made from mushrooms and peeled barley. And after the main course, there is time for a desert, there are many kinds of home made Christmas cookies, some families can also have an exotic fruits, nuts and so on.

There is also one old tradition in the Czech Republic, saying that one, who will not eat the whole day until the dinner, will see the gold little pig in the evening. But obviously, hardly anyone will manage not to eat anything until the dinner.

And after the dinner, there is finally the time, which kids are always expecting so impatiently – the time to unwrap the presents. The following days, 25th and 26th are (as well as 24th) national Holidays, and people mostly spent them with their families, and friends, visiting each other, having festive lunches together and having rest from ordinary days rush.

Dec 22, 15:44 (Filed under: Culture )

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