St. Nicholas Day in the Czech Republic

December 5 is the day that children in the Czech Republic are nervous, excited and scared. Like in Netherlands, the tradition in the Czech Republic is formed from three major figures, Svatý Mikuláš (St. Nicholas), Čert (Devil) and Anděl (Angel).

St. Nicholas, Angel and Devil are the main figures of tradition in the Czech Republic, which takes a place on December 5.
St. Nicholas, Angel and Devil are the main figures of tradition in the Czech Republic, which takes a place on December 5.

On December 5, the trio of Svatý Mikuláš, Čert, and Anděl are going from house to house and they meet with children. When they enter the house, the family gathers with them. The parents prepare a list of good and bad deeds the children have done over the past year, which they read to Svatý Mikuláš.

When the parents finish reading the list, Svatý Mikuláš, Čert and Anděl talk to each other. The trio is facing a decision. If the child behaved well, based of the parents’ list, then Svatý Mikuláš gives the children candy. On the other side, if the children behaved badly, Svatý Mikuláš gives the children a coal or in the worst case, the devil “takes away” the children.

After the trio decides, Svatý Mikuláš asks the children if the deeds that his/her parents listed are truth. After the children explains oneself, Svatý Mikuláš says something like; “Even you have done bad things, you are a good children” or “You are a good children, but when I will come next year,  I hope that I will not hear that you have done this bad thing”. Then Svatý Mikuláš asks the children to sing a song or recite a poem, so the children deserves the candy. When the child is done with the song or poem, Svatý Mikluláš leaves the house togehter with Anděl and Čert. Usually, Svatý Mikuláš as a good bey says: “Don’t do this next time or my friend Devil will take you to hell”. (He says it in very nice way, not scary). The children promises and the trio counties next door with the same questions.

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