A few days ago, La Carmina told us about how Christmas is celebrated in Japan, but today we’re back in Europe to learn about the interesting traditions of the Czech Republic, all thanks to Kristyna of Epic Betch!
Hello! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about where you’re from!
I’m a Bangkok based lifestyle/travel blogger from the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is a small but lovely country in the heart of Europe.
How is Christmas celebrated in your country? Are there any strange or funny traditions?
We celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December. Most families buy a live carp fish a few days before Christmas. They are sold on every square in the Czech Republic at this time of the year. Most families buy one, but some families buy two carp. They rush home with this live fish, fill up their bath and put the carp into their bath to swim. Yes! Into their very own family bath. They keep this fish in their bath until the Czech Christmas day on the 24th. The whole family have to use a different bathroom if they have two, or wash themselves in the sink. On the 24th the family decorate the Christmas tree in the morning and start to prepare Christmas dinner. The man of the family has to kill the carp because the traditional Christmas Czech dish is fish soup, carp schnitzel, and cold potato salad. It sounds very gruesome and I can tell you that as a kid I was trying to figure out a plan how to save that little bugger, but without success. Some families go to the nearest lake instead as a tradition and release the fish back to the wild. Other families kill one and release the other one (Sophie’s Choice, carp style). The dinner is served quite early. If one person stands up from the table during the diner, nobody can eat anymore. If the family continue eating it would bring very bad luck. The family go to the Christmas tree after dinner to open the presents which are all brought by Ježíšek [Yasheeshek].
What is your favourite Christmas food and why?
We eat very sweet, baked, bite-sized Christmas biscuits, and I really like them. Many women bake 10-20 different types of these biscuits to show off their housewife skills.
What would you recommend visitors to your country do during the festive season?
Anybody who is planning to go to Czech Republic during Christmas should visit the Christmas market on the Old Town Square in Prague, try sweet Trdelnik and enjoy the atmosphere. A nice thing to do could also be to buy a carp and release it back to the wild – saving this fish from being a schnitzel this year.
Finally, what are you most looking forward to about Christmas this year?
I haven’t been in the Czech Republic for Christmas for 8 years. So I will be celebrating under the palm trees in Thailand as usual, with a mixture of my Czech and my fiancé’s British traditions. But I’m really looking forward to the Thai Christmas madness; 20m tall flashing Xmas trees on every corner, crazy Santas in most shopping centres, and our little quiet celebrations in the middle of it.
Read the rest of my Blogmas posts here!
Cover photo credit: www.get-to-know-cz.thumbler.