I’m so glad you’re joining us on our journey, celebrating Christmas Around the World!
If you missed Living Life Intentionally’s introduction post, you can pop on over now (she’s got some spectacular printables to go alongside our series!).
We will be spending Christmas in the capital city of the Czech Republic, so chose to learn more about the traditions that they have ahead of our trip.
So, firstly, Merry Christmas, or ‘Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce’.
Celebrations for Christmas in the Czech Republic begin with the visit of St. Nicholas on December 6th and end with the visit of the Three Kings on 6th January. In Czech Republic, St. Nicholas is called Svaty Mikalas and is believed to climb to earth down from heaven on a golden rope along with an angel and a devil who brings a whip. Svaty Mikalas asks the children if they have been good and the angel writes their answers. Naughty children could be thrown in the devil’s sack and taken to hell.
St. Nicholas is the signal for winter baking to start, and the heart shape is a popular design. So we made some very easy Heart shaped Jammy Dodgers.
An ancient tradition shared by Czechoslovakia and Poland involves cutting a branch from a cherry tree putting it in water indoors to bloom. If it blooms before Christmas it is considered good luck, and also a sign that the winter won’t be too long. It’s the perfect cue for a craft like this easy bubble print blossom tree from Red Ted Art.
Christmas is a quiet and peaceful religious time. The main celebrations are on Christmas Eve. Some people fast during Christmas Eve in the hope that they will see a vision of ‘the golden pig’ appear on the wall before dinner which is meant to be a sign of good luck! The celebratory dish is Carp, usually fried.
The famous King Wenceslas of the Christmas Carol came from the Czech Republic. His goodness and his beliefs in Christianity infuriated his mother, and his brother murdered him on the Church steps yet before he died he asked for God’s mercy for his brother’s evil act. He became the patron saint of Bohemia. There is a large square in the centre of Prague called Wencelas Square which is a World Heritage Site and hosts a Christmas Market every year. We’re very excited that we will get to enjoy it ourselves in under two weeks.
Living Life Intentionally has a wonderful ebook which features lots of facts and craft ideas for each of the countries visited. It’s free to download and you can download it here.
With thanks to Mirka at All Baby Advice for her insider tips on all things Czech.