Customs and Traditions of Czech Republic
Like any other country , Czech Republic has also many customs and traditions. We give a brief preview here.
Easter (Velikonoce) Although Good Friday, White Saturday and Palm Sunday are not commonly celebrated,Easter Monday is widely enjoyed. It is a day when various popular customs coming from the pre-Christian era are practised. The customs vary in different regions of the Czech Republic. The main Easter Monday tradition is so-called “whipping”. Boys call on the girls in the neighbourhood and whip them with plaited willow switches. The whip and the custom are called pomlázka. This “painful” procedure is supposed to guarantee good health and beauty to women in the coming year. According to tradition, girls pay for the service with decorated eggs (both real and made of chocolate) and sometimes with shots of alcohol.
Burning of Witches The night of April 30th is traditionally known as Čarodějnice (Witches’ Night) in the Czech Lands. On the eve of May 1st, Czechs all over the country burn effigies of Morana, “the witch of winter,” on bonfires to celebrate the arrival of spring.
Lovers’ Day On May 1st, every girl is supposed to be kissed under a blooming cherry-tree to stay fresh all year through.
St. Nicholas’s Day (Mikuláš) On the evening of December 5th, St. Nicholas visits people’s homes with devils and angels to find out whether the children have been good during the year. They leave gifts – usually sweets, nuts or fruits. In return, the children should read a poem or sing a song. If the child has been naughty, he/she is given pieces of coal and potatoes.
Christmas (Vánoce) The spirit of young Jesus, invisible to everybody, comes to children and adults for Christmas. The traditional dinner on Christmas Eve is carp fried with breadcrumbs and served with potato salad. The symbol of Christmas is a decorated Christmas tree, under which the family places gifts, which are opened after dinner. Some families go to church to attend midnight mass.In some families there are other customs such as singing Christmas carols, cutting an apple in half so that the core appears as a star, which brings good luck, or making little boats from nutshells and sailing them in a wash basin. According to one of the Czech Christmas customs and traditions, people are supposed to fast all day before dinner in order to see a golden piglet.During the Christmas period all families bake traditional Christmas cookies.