Hello my dears and welcome to the one and probably only Christmas post on my blog.
Almost everybody on this planet knows what is Christmas like in the United Kingdom and the United States. But what about the rest of the world? Nobody cares? I hope not… But I know that it might be hard to find. And what I also know is that nothing is better than personal experience. And I have it. I have that experience. And I’m gonna share it with you…
So what is Christmas like in the Czech Republic? (That’s the little land where I live.)
How do we call Christmas in Czech?
In Czech, Christmas is called Vánoce. (I recommend using the Google Translator to hear the pronunciation.) Then we have the Štědrý večer standing for Christmas Eve and Štědrý den which is translated as Christmas Day.
When do we celebrate?
In the Czech Republic, the main day of celebrations is on December 24th. It’s a public Holiday and most of the people have a day off. The celebrations (and the Holidays) continue on December 25th and 26th.
Children usually have Holiday until the first Monday in January.
Do we have a Christmas tree?
Oh, yes, we do. It’s become a part of our traditions to have a Christmas tree. (I don’t know a family where they don’t have any.) In every family gets the tree decorated on a different day and in a different style and in some of them the Christmas tree is brought together with the gifts.
The most common decorations are straw stars (or angels), fairy lights and colored glass balls.
What about Christmas dinner?
The classic meal on Chrismas Eve is a carp soup and carp fillet with potato salad. Those who don’t like eating fishes (like me) usually have a chicken schnitzel.
One interesting fact: Carp has become such a big part of Christmas dinner that most of the families usually have one. Due to a large amount of ponds where for hundreds of years fishes like carp are bred, everyone can have one or two in his family. But not everyone wants to travel to find a pond. Therefore, the fishermen and salesmen usually come to the cities and sell fishes on streets.
And more, they kill the fishes there as well. Yes, I know it is sick and a bit morbid too. But it’s tradition. (And on the other site only so you can be sure that you fish is fresh.) And if you don’t like it, you can kill your carp yourself.
What about the gifts?
And at last (but definitely not at least) the gifts! Where should I start?
We give and are given on Christmas Eve, on December 24th. We tell the little children the gifts are brought by Little Jesus Christ or Infant Jesus if you like it better (I’m not sure how to translate it but in Czech he’s called Ježíšek.)
In my family we used to go to a different room than our Christmas tree was, look out of the window and look for the Little Jesus. Then one of my parents went out of the room with a stupid excuse (like that he’s going to look whether the gifts are already there) and put the gifts under the tree. Then he took a little bell and rang (that was supposed to mean that the Little Jesus was there and left the gifts). Usually, as we ran out of the room in which we were, we found our mum/dad standing on the stairs and trying to hide the bell.
After that, we went together to the tree and unpacked our gifts.