Just like with most parts of the world, Christmas in Czech is characterized by celebrations, presents, colors, and shining lights. This holiday is, however, filled with traditions that are somewhat out of the ordinary.
Read on to discover how the Czechs celebrate the Christmas holiday.
December 24th, also known as the Štědrý den or the “Generous Day” is considered the most important day of Christmas. On this day, a bountiful of food is served for Christmas dinner.
The Czech Christmas meal consists of carp complemented with potato salad and soup. This fish is caught days earlier and placed in a bathtub where visitors, and kids alike, pat it like a pet.
People will often remove a single scale from the fish and place it in their wallet or purse with the belief that it will bring them more money in the coming year.
While some turn it into dinner, others often release it back into the river.
Oddly enough, food shouldn’t be served until the first star emerges from the sky. Those who fast all day expect to see the golden pig flying in the sky, which is believed to be good luck.
Kids in the Czech Republic believe that their presents are brought by Santa who lives high in the mountains of Boží Dar. They also believe that He has a post office from where he receives all the letters addressed to Him.
On Christmas, the kids stay away from the room that hosts the Christmas tree and return as soon as they hear the tinkle of a bell. This signifies that Jesus has placed their presents under the tree.
The 25th and 26th
These two days are referred to as the first and second Christmas.
On the first day, also known as Boží hod vánoční, people enjoy traditional meals like apple strudel and Christmas bread (vánočka).
On the second day (Sv. Štěpán), the folks sing Christmas carols or simply make merry with their relatives and friends.
In the Czech, Christmas is a Christian-rooted holiday that’s perceived as a time of peace, love, generosity, and celebrations with friends and families.
In this country, the festivities cannot be complete without singing the Christmas carols, decorating the Christmas tree and consuming the Christmas feast.
In the Czech language, Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Veselé Vánoce’. It is interesting to know how people wish Happy or Merry Christmas in other languages.
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Main Points About Christmas in the Czech Republic
- The people of the Czech Republic see Christmas as a time of peace, love, quiet and a celebration of families and loved ones.
- The center of Czech’s Christmas season is the Christmas eve (The Generous Day).
- It is very popular for many people to fast in the hope to see a vision of ‘the golden piglet’. This is believed to be a sign of good luck.
- The main Christmas meal is usually eaten on Christmas eve. This meal includes fish soup, fried carp, potato salad, apple strudel, and a traditional Christmas bread.
- Instead of Santa Claus, Czech children believe that baby Jesus brings gifts to the room through the window.
Another country for St. Nicholas to travel to! Unlike in the Netherlands for example, he has one or several angels and devils with him.
After reciting a poem you will get a basket of gifts if you’ve been good, or a piece of coal if you’ve been bad!
Christmas is mainly celebrated on Christmas Eve and many people hope to see a golden pig on the wall, which will bring them good luck.
Word Cloud for Christmas in the Czech Republic
The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Czech Republic. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.