Christmas in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, we have very certain way of celebrating Christmas and it has been a tradition over multiple generations. Basically, most of the not all traditions happen during December 24th. In Czech we call this day “Štědrý Den”, which in the translation means “Generous Day”.

Continuing on, Czechs have a tradition or a superstition of “Zlatý Prasátko” (Golden Pig). This superstition, which started in Middle Ages, affects the lunch of a lot of the Czechs. If people will not eat any meat the whole day then they are going to “see” a Golden Pig. This is what the tradition says, that is why a lot of Czech eat meal named Staročeský Kuba which is mainly made of groats (grain) and mushrooms.

Also many people put ornaments and lights on the Christmas tree, but it differs from families because some of them do it way before December 24th. After the lunch, based on the weather, many people go outside for a walk or they bring fruit to animals in the forest. Another popular option of spending afternoon is watching Vanoční Pohádky (Christmas Fairy Tales). Then comes the evening and the the biggest event of the day, the dinner or as Czechs call it Štědrovečerní večeře (hostina). The dinner traditionally starts with fish soup and as a main course people eat carp with a potato salad. If people do not eat fish then they have a wine sausage.

After the dinner people open the presents, which are under Christmas tree. They sing Koledy (Christmas Songs) and spend time with their family. In Czech Republic presents do not give Santa Claus, but we have Ježíšek (the Baby Jesus).

In the link below, is by far the most famous Czech Christmas Commercial. It does not capture the Golden Pig Tradition in funny way, but it also illustrates one of the Czechs personality characteristics, which is being cheap. Like the men in the commercial who is trying to steal a Christmas tree from the forest instead buying it.

Staročeský Kuba
Staročeský Kuba
Carp and potato salad is the tradition December 24th dinner.
Carp and potato salad is the tradition December 24th dinner.
If one does not eat fish, then one has a wine sausage for dinner on December 24th.
If one does not eat fish, then one has a wine sausage for dinner on December 24th.

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