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Experience Czech Christmas Traditions in Prague

Saint Nicolas - Santon wallon
Credit: Jean-Pol GRANDMONT / CC BY 3.0

Christmas is a time for giving and sharing and also to celebrate what we receive. This festival is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm, all throughout the world. However, Prague celebrates this festival in a unique way.

We have written down important traditions that will help you understand the Czech culture.

St. Nicholas Day

One of the popular days of the Christmas advent is St. Nicholas Day usually held around the 5th of December every year. If you find yourself walking around the city on this day, be prepared to face people in costumes of St. Nicholas accompanied with an angel and devil. They go around checking and rewarding children if they have been good and nice throughout the year. Children sing carols and overall the atmosphere begins to look quite festive.

Christmas Carp Tradition

While this might be a little weird for some, Christmas is represented in the Czech culture in the symbol of a carp. Closer to Christmas, you will find dozens of live carp in water tanks all around the city being sold to the people. As per tradition, families buy carp and keep them in the bathtub and see carps swim there. After this people decide whether to eat it by Christmas Eve or simply to allow it freedom by putting it back in the pond or river.

Christmas Eve Celebration

People of Prague celebrate Christmas Eve by fasting all day, and then feasting after sunset. Czech people believe a day of fasting will make you see a golden pig, which is supposed to be a symbol of good luck. You can try befriending some locals just to taste their amazing Christmas meal which is supposed to be fried carp, traditional cake, potato salad and some cookies. Dig in!
Whether it is Christmas at home or in a different country, there is always more to learn and a reason to celebrate. Merry Christmas!

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