Most foreigners think that us Czech ladies are a bit crazy, but we love Christmas baking. Every year we start baking at the beginning of December so that we have time to bake at least 12 different types of biscuits. If you ever visit someone during Christmas, you will be forced to try perníčky, vanilkové rohlíčky and linecké cukroví, etc.
Our traditional Christmas dinner is a bit different to turkey and a roast. First of all, we have our main Christmas meal on the evening of the 24th December and legend has it if you survive the whole of Christmas Eve without eating, you will see a golden pig before dinner. Families all come together and enjoy either mushroom or fish soup as a starter, and then have a main meal of carp schnitzel and potato salad.
In the Czech Republic, we don’t like Santa because he is perceived as being too Western. We have Ježíšek (baby Jesus) instead. After children have finished their Christmas dinner, they have to go and listen for the sound of a bell ringing. It will tell them Ježíšek has been there and delivered their presents.
And finally… what’s with the carp in the bath?!
You’ve probably guessed by now that the carp in the bath has something to do with Christmas dinner 🙂
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, you’ll find massive tanks full of carp outside every single supermarket, ready to be bought. Traditionally, families buy their carp a week before Christmas and let it live in the bath (children even name them!). The reason this tradition started centuries ago was not only to keep the fish fresh, but to clean the carp and get rid of the slightly muddy taste it gets from the river/pond. Just before the women start cooking, it’s the man of the house’s job to kill the carp and get rid of the scales.
As you can see, the Czech Republic has its own very special traditions. But like everywhere the most important part is being surrounded by loved ones. We love nothing more than sitting by the fire with our families close by, enjoying the snow and relaxing ready for the new year.
From all the team here at České překlady (Czech Translations),
we’d like to wish you a very happy Christmas.
We are looking forward to seeing you full of energy next year!