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Carp fish in the bathtub? Extra plates? No Santa Claus? 

Christmas Market in Prague, Náměstí Míru

Wondering what typical Czech Christmas look like? Keep reading.

Christmas is probably the biggest and the most important Holiday for Czech people, many Czechs are in fact atheists and they don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reasons but to spend time with families and loved ones.

Christmas dinner – what does the menu typically look like?

Czech people celebrate Christmas on December 24th, they have a big dinner and after dinner they open the presents. Before dinner some people starve all day – it’s said that who will not eat all day until the dinner time will be able to see a golden pig that will bring them hapiness, health and wealth. That’s why you can find these little golden pigs at Czech Christmas Markets.

Typical menu on Christmas Eve usually consist of fish soup and fried carp fish with potato salad. Czechs used to buy carps few days before Christmas and keep them alive in their bathtub, some people stick to this tradition, some choose to buy killed carps. Some families don’t eat carp at all and serve white wine klobása (sausage) or Schnitzels.

Carp fish Czech Christmas Dinner

Another custom follows the dinner, everybody has to cut an apple in half to see the star – who has beautiful star will have a happy and healthy year, those with uglier star might have some problems in coming year.

Czechs also always have an extra set of plates on their table, in case that unexpected guest shows up and needs a place to stay for the evening. In case that there would be no extra plate, something bad could happen.

Another thing that might bring some bad luck is getting up from the table before the dinner is finished. Once you sit down for the Christmas dinner, you can’t get up before everyone is finished.

Who brings the presents?

Czech people don’t get Christmas presents from Santa Claus but from Baby Jesus – in Czech called “Ježíšek”. Nobody knows what he looks like, kids are told to write letters to Ježíšek before Christmas (with their wishes for the presents).

And a little bonus for those who finished reading – learn how to say Merry Christmas in Czech : Veselé Vánoce!

So Veselé Vánoce to you all!

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Czech Christmas Dinner and Traditions
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