Sunday, December 2nd, the first Advent Sunday. For many people, Christmas started with the first Advent evening. Traditionally, each year families light up the first candle of their Advent wreath together at the dining table. And from that day they start to count down the days left to Christmas. Usually, kids also have advent calendars with chocolate and other sweets, which symbolizes the Christmas countdown. The evening of December 24th is like the top of a Christmas and the traditional time for opening the presents. Next, Easter, one of the most important Christian holidays. While for me it's more an opportunity to meet and spend some good time with my family, for believers, it is also about the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
This is related, for example, to Midnight Mass. When the gifts are unpacked, the whole family goes together to a church where they are singing carols. It's also the beginning of the ecclesiastical celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ,
Nowadays, we take Christmas as a civil holiday, but the Christian nature can't be forgotten because Christmas comes out of it, and it has a lot of traditions to it. I don't want to write here about my family and our tradition, because everybody can have their own traditions. Today I want to write about the Czech traditions that are common for Czech people.
Christmas tree is perhaps the most widespread symbol of Christmas. Even here in the Czech Republic, in Germany or in America, and even in Vietnam, we decorate an evergreen tree. Everybody knows it and enjoys it, especially kids, who can make their own ornaments and honestly, that's number one thing I remember from my childhood when we came to visit my grandmother and when I could decorate a tree with her.
Here in the Czech Republic, it is worthwhile for tourist to visit the Christmas Tree Lighting on Old Town Square, which takes place on 1st December every year. If you missed it this year, it doesn't matter. The tree is still standing there and it will be there until the New Year. I definitely recommend getting up and going in the morning, even in the dark when no one is there. On the other hand, during the day and evening, you can visit the markets, taste our delicious hot wine with some trdelník - Czech cinnamon pastry, but there are lots of people. You can do both, it is on your own preferences.
Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas candy
Writing this article reminds me that I will have to buy clothes one size larger. Because of the sweets. Baking is fun and the more you cook, the more you have to eat. Typical scents are vanilla, cinnamon, and rum and none should be missed!
Christmas Eve dinner consists mainly of fish soup, carp, and potato salad. I feel sorry for the carps during Christmas, as they are killed in a terrible amount, but I also understand that it's a tradition. Another habit is to place one extra plate for an unexpected guest. And don't forget one rule, no getting up from the evening table while everyone else is still eating.
Releasing little boat
Releasing boats are one of the favorite customs. It's pretty simple. You need 2 things. Walnut and a candle. You will cut the nut in two parts, then put some wax on it and attach the candle to the wax. Then simply light up the candles and let the "boat" sail on the water. Whoever's boat lasts lit up the longest, will live a happy and long life.
After Christmas dinner, everyone cuts the apple vertically into two parts. Those who have a star appeared in the middle, they will be healthy all year round. To whom appears the cross will be seriously ill. But do not worry, if you buy fresh apples and you cut right, you never get the cross.
Casting lead is one of my favorite traditions. You need to fuse the lead on a metal spoon and put it in the cold water. When the lead cools down, loses heat, you will see some shape, which symbolizes something.
Even though Christmas can sometimes be stressful, you still want to do it all. Bake Christmas candy, decorate everything you have at home. But the main thing is spending time with your loved ones. And if buying the presents is stressful too, don't worry. Christ Child will bring them.
Over the Christmas holidays, we offer a lot of concerts and tours on the web. One of the busiest and most beautiful is the Prague Bell Grand Tour. Walking through snowy Prague is one of the most wonderful experiences here in our country. The beginning of the tour begins with the beautiful Art Nouveau Municipal House next to which there is the Prague Gate, where the Royal Route begins through the Old Town, the Charles Bridge and to the Prague Castle. There are also other stops during the tour, which I will not tell you. You'll find out once you're on the tour yourself!
We look forward to seeing you,
Your Bell Prague team.
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