Christmas celebrations in Czech Republic start days before the actual day of celebration. There is a lot of enthusiasm and vigor among the people with the arrival of December. The festivity ideally begins from 6th December, with the visit of St. Nicholas and extends till the Three Kings Day, in the month of January. In Czech Republic, St. Nicholas is known as Svaty Mikalas, who is believed to climb to earth, down from heaven, on a golden rope, along with his companions - an angel and a whip-carrying devil. It is believed that he brings gifts for children who are well-mannered, while gives witches to those who act devilish.
Christmas Celebrations in Czech Republic
The people of Czech Republic follow numerous superstitions around Christmas, which are supposed to reflect the life, love and destiny that waits in the year to come. One such unique belief that is practiced in the country allows girls to know their future. According to the tradition, on the 4th of December, a girl puts a cherry twig in water. If the twig blossoms by the Christmas Eve, she is likely to get married in the following year. In the country, Christmas celebrations take a high on December 24, which is regarded as the most enjoyable day of all the Christmas holidays.
December 24 is fondly known as the 'Generous Day' by the people of Czech. On this day, wealth of food is served as Christmas dinner, in every household. Even poor families make sure that their plate is full of scrumptious delicacies on this day. December 24th is also regarded as Adam and Eva's name day. On this day, people decorate the Christmas tree with traditional Czech Christmas ornaments and indulge in preparing lavish dinner. Dinner is usually served after sunset, after the first star has come out and consists of carp and potato salad, which is preceded by mushroom, sauerkraut or fish soup.
In Czech, it is considered bad luck to get up from the table before everyone is finished. It is also unlucky to set the table for an odd number of guests. Once the dinner is done, everyone around the table indulges in the singing Christmas carols. Thereafter, the family members gather around the Christmas tree, wherein children find their Christmas presents. Much against the norm, in Czech Republic, the gifts for children are believed to have been brought by Baby Jesus, instead of Santa Claus. By midnight, people head towards the church to attend the midnight mass.
In Czech Republic, Christmas extends for two days, i.e. on the 25th and 26th of December, which are popularly known as the First and Second Christmas Holiday or the Christmas Feast and St. Stephen's Day, respectively. While people celebrate with their immediate families on the First Christmas Holiday, on the Second Christmas Holiday, many are seen paying a visit to their extended family and friends. However, the practice is slowly fading away, as more and more people are looking at the holiday as an ideal time to relax and unwind their parched nerves. Whatever be the case, people of Czech Republic do rejoice and make merry on Christmas.