© 2015 Alba Elena Cuéllar Chirino

Xmas in Prague

It’s that time of the year again and the streets are filled with lights and decorations. The city of Prague is a hive of activity, full of Christmas markets and events which delight locals and visitors alike. A frantic activity and the scent of cinnamon invades town from the Old Town Square, through Václavské Námesti and right up to Námestí Míru.

But how is Christmas really celebrated here, in the Czech Republic?

During the evening of December the 5th, Czech children await impatiently the arrival of Svatý Mikuláš, and his accompanying angels and devils. If they have behaved well during the year, Svatý Mikuláš will give them a basket of presents and candy. However, if they have been naughty, they will just receive a lump of coal from the devil.

According to Czech tradition, the most important celebration takes place on Christmas Eve. Some people fast during this day in the hope that they will see a vision of the Golden Pig appear on the wall before dinner, which is a sign for good luck. Another tradition says that if you throw a shoe over your shoulder on this special night and it falls pointing towards the door, you will get married soon! This is also an exciting night for the younger ones, since Ježíšek (Little Jesus) will bring presents during the Christmas dinner and leave them under the tree. This dinner traditionally consists of potato salad and carp, which is specially raised in artificial ponds and sold from large tubs placed throughout the city on the previous days to Christmas Eve.

In the meantime, the citizens and visitors of Prague can enjoy a really festive atmosphere throughout the whole month of December. Veselé Vánoce!