How to celebrate a czech christmas

This article was co-authored by Renata Serna Alvarez, MA. Renata Serna Alvarez is a native speaker of the Czech language, as well as a speaker of English, Spanish and German. She graduated from the Southbohemian University in 2009 with a Master’s degree in English and German, and has been working as a teacher, translator, and language consultant for 10 years.

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Whether you’ll be in the Czech Republic over Christmas, entertaining Czech guests for the holidays, or simply getting in touch with your roots, you probably want to know all the customs and traditions involved in the celebration of a Czech Christmas. This article will teach you what those customs are and how to put them into practice this Christmas.

How to celebrate a czech christmas

Renata Serna Alvarez, MA

Native Czech Speaker & Translator

Start decorating your home for Christmas when Advent begins! Czech native Renata Serna Alvarez says: “For Czechs, Christmas time starts with advent. People decorate their houses and flats with twigs of pines or spruce, and of course mistletoe. About 2 weeks before Christmas, women start baking Christmas cookies. Some women make up to 20 kinds of cookies to offer to their family and friends, and it can become very competitive.”

How to celebrate a czech christmas

How to celebrate a czech christmas

Renata Serna Alvarez, MA

Native Czech Speaker & Translator

Decorating the Christmas tree is one of the most important Czech Christmas traditions. According to Czech translator Renata Serna Alvarez: “Families usually decorate the tree together, but in families with small children, the parents will often decorate the tree by themselves, then tell the children that baby Jesus did it.”

How to celebrate a czech christmas

Renata Serna Alvarez, MA

Native Czech Speaker & Translator

Celebrating a traditional Czech Christmas involves a big family meal and gifts. Czech native Renata Serna Alvarez says: “On the 24th of December, some people prefer to stay hungry the whole day, because tradition says if they fast, they’ll be able to see the golden pig. In the evening, the whole family gathers to have dinner, which usually consists of fish soup with bread croutons, fried fish, and potato salad, but there are regional variations. After dinner, people give presents to each other and sing carols.”

How to celebrate a czech christmas

“Many people attend midnight mass at their church on Christmas Eve, then visit family on the 25th and 26th of December.”

Renata Serna Alvarez, MA

Native Czech Speaker & Translator

How to celebrate a czech christmas

Renata Serna Alvarez, MA

Native Czech Speaker & Translator

Try these 3 fun Czech Christmas traditions for yourself! Native Czech speaker Renata Serna Alvarez says: “On Christmas Eve, there are 3 common traditions families participate in. The first is to cut an apple in half. If you find a star, you will be healthy. The second is to melt lead and pour it in water, then people try to find objects in the lead. The third habit is throwing a shoe. Any single woman in the house stands in the middle of the room and throws her shoe toward the door. If the tip of the shoe points at the door, it means the girl will “go out of the house,” or get married.”

How to celebrate a czech christmas

In the Czech Republic, the Christmas season is a big deal. The country has a storied history filled with annual traditions that may seem a bit unusual to tourists. As locals typically spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home with the family, an explanation of the seasonal customs provides an insider look for visitors.

For guests of the country visiting during December, there are many local events and activities to explore.

Czech Christmas Traditions

Christmas Eve in the Czech Republic is celebrated with a grand feast. The featured dish is fried carp, which was purchased earlier and may be kept alive in the bathtub until ready for cooking. The Christmas tree gets decorated on Christmas Eve. Traditionally, the tree gets decorated with apples and sweets, as well as traditional ornaments, but modern households sometimes use commercially purchased Christmas ornaments.

Santa Claus is not the gift giver in the Czech Republic. Instead, Baby Jesus (Ježíšek) brings children presents on Christmas Eve. Usually, the children leave the room where the Christmas tree has placed until they hear the tinkle of a bell (rung by parents) indicating that Baby Jesus has delivered the gifts. The Baby Jesus is said to reside high in the mountains, in the town of Boží Dar, where a post office accepts and stamps letters addressed to him.

St. Mikulas, or St. Nicholas, also brings gifts, but at the beginning of December, on St. Mikulas Day. St. Mikulas is dressed like a bishop in white clothing, rather than in the red Santa suit. Christmas Eve may culminate with midnight mass, or the family may go to mass on Christmas Day, then enjoy the noon meal together.

A common holiday superstition in the Czech Republic is that food and household can foretell the future of the coming year. To know if good or bad luck awaits, cut an apple in half and review the inside core. If the core shows four corners, that means that bad luck is on the way, while a five corner core translates to good fortune ahead. For young women that are hoping for love, tossing a shoe over a shoulder at the nearest door is the tradition—if the shoe points at the door, then marriage is in the cards.

Czech Events and Activities

Visitors who aren’t lucky enough to wrangle an invite from a local family can enjoy still enjoy the season with an assortment of public festivities.

In Prague, the Christmas tree in Old Town draws thousands each year. The public square is the site of the city’s most famous Prague Christmas Market with dozens of stall selling local treats, gift options, and decorations. Visitors to Prague can enjoy live nativity scenes, ice skating, and other Czech Christmas traditions throughout December.

A few hours from Prague awaits the castle, Český Krumlov. The best-known residents are a quartet of furry friends that are the centerpiece of the castle’s Christmas with the Bears event. In town, there are carolers, an Advent photo studio, and even a wintertime cruise down the river.

The South Bohemian city of České Budějovice is known for its musical entertainment. Buglers, pipers and folklore groups entertain the crowds in Přemysl Otakar II Square and provide a melodic background to the annual Christmas market.

Dec. 7, 2020 10:05 am

Christmas is celebrated around the world, but not everyone celebrates the same way. Here are some of the ways children in the Czech Republic and Slovakia celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas Dinner

Think about your family’s Christmas mealš. Most households in Iowa choose turkey, ham or roast beef for their holiday dinner. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and other nearby nations, including Poland, Austria, Germany, and Croatia, carp is the main course for the big holiday meal.

A few days before Christmas, families go out to pick up their carp and bring it back home. Some families choose to buy the fish live and store it in the bathtub! It sounds silly, but there’s a reason for this. Carp are bottom feeders. The idea is that a few days swimming in clean water helps to flush mud from the fish’s digestive tract.

Svatý Mikuláš, The Andel And The Cert

In the U.S., and other parts of the world, Santa Claus is the one watching over children all year long to see if they’ve been bad or good. A good child will have a gift from Santa under the tree Christmas morning, but a naughty child will have a lump of coal. They do things a bit differently in the Czech Republic. First, they don’t call their gift giver from the North Pole Santa Claus; he’s Svatý Mikuláš (Saint Nicholas). And he doesn’t visit on Christmas Eve.

Legend has it that Svatý Mikuláš and an angel (Andel) descend from heaven on a golden rope every December 6 to meet the devil (Cert) on earth. The trio then walk the streets of the Czech Republic. Svatý Mikuláš asks every child they meet if they’ve been good or bad and the angel records their answers in her book.

If the report is good, the child is rewarded with sweets and treats from the angel. If the child has been naughty, the devil, lurking in the background and rattling his chains, gives the child a lump of coal or a potato. Svatý Mikuláš reminds the children that Christmas is a few short weeks away and they must behave themselves or the baby Jesus will not bring them presents on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve

Unlike Santa Claus, Svatý Mikuláš doesn’t deliver the children’s gifts on Christmas – that is the baby Jesus’ job in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Family gifts are put under the Christmas tree. A common tradition is that the children have to leave the room when the presents are being brought by Jesus. When they are there, a bell is rung. The children then run to the Christmas tree to try and see the Baby Jesus but they always narrowly miss him!

The Christmas tree

The Christmas tree is an important part of the holiday season for Czech and Slovak families. Like Christmas trees in the U.S., every tree is unique, but there are traditional decorations Czechs and Slovaks commonly put on their tree.

‘ An angel represents the angel who appeared before Mary, asking her to be the mother of Jesus.

‘ Strings of popcorn signify the rope Joseph held as he led the donkey to Bethlehem.

‘ Walnuts are the gifts from the three wise men.

‘ Oranges are a special fruit only available during the Christmas season.

‘ Wheat is a symbol of life, prosperity, and nourishment.

‘ The cloth at the base of the tree represents Jesus’ swaddling clothes.

‘ Apples are a reminder of Adam and Eve.

‘ A white dove is placed near the top of the tree to evoke peace.

It is that magical time of the year again! It is time for celebrations, miracles, presents, festive mood and shining lights! Yes, it is Christmas time! Visitors and expats living in the Czech Republic may be wondering how do the Czechs celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, so let’s take a look how does Czech Christmas look like!

Christmas starts at the end of November

Usually, Czech Christmas season starts at the end of November with the opening of the impressive Christmas markets (Vanocni trh). They are a key ingredient of the festive magic in the Czech Republic. The markets light up the cities, bringing locals and tourists together to share the spirit, in a true ‘winter wonderland’ setting.

How to celebrate a czech christmasBrno Christmas markets

Visitors and residents can enjoy various of traditional smells and flavors, hot wine, and punch, tasty food. Moreover, the brightly decorated wooden huts sell traditional handicrafts which are the perfect Christmas gifts: glassware, jewelry, embroidered lace, wooden toys, metalware, ceramics, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, hats, gloves and scarves, and puppets and dolls beautifully dressed in traditional costumes.

The Christmas markets are usually open daily, including on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

St.Nicholas Day
(Svaty Mikuláš)

The official Christmas celebrations traditionally start with St.Nicholas Day on 5th December. It is the most popular advent holiday in the Czech Republic. St. Nicholas is believed to come on December 5th (bringing apples, nuts, and candies), along with his friends, a devil – who carries a whip, and takes the naughty children away, and an angel who appeals on their behalf.

The holiday is a reminder that baby Jesus is on his way, and a day where good children receive small gifts, chocolates, apples, etc. and those children who behaved naughty through out the year are said to receive potatoes and coal. After the children’s treats, St. Nicholas shares a toast with the parents.

How to celebrate a czech christmas

A carp in the bathtub

The featured meal for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner in the Czech Republic is not turkey, like in many other countries, but fried carp. The side dishes include potato salad and boiled red cabbage.

The most curious fact about the Christmas dinner is that the carp is bought alive a week before that night or a few days prior it. The carp is kept alive in the bathtub until ready for cooking on the day of Christmas Eve! When preparing the fish, you have to clean it from fish-scales and that is when Czech tradition comes in hand. If you put one clean fish-scale into your wallet, the Czechs believe that it should bring you more money in the new year.

How to celebrate a czech christmasA carp in a Czech bathtub

It is Baby Jesus (Ježíšek) who brings the presents on Christmas Eve, rather than Santa Claus!

Believe it or not, in the Czech Republic it is not the Santa Claus who brings the presents for the kids on Christmas, but the Baby Jesus! Ježíšek is said to reside high in the mountains, in the town of Boží Dar, where a post office accepts and stamps letters addressed to him. On Christmas Eve, children leave the room where the Christmas tree has been put up until they hear the tinkle of a bell (rung by parents) indicating that Baby Jesus has come with gifts.

How to celebrate a czech christmasJežíšek

Christmas Eve dinner

The most important day is Christmas Eve when traditionally the tree is decorated, and the family gathers for a feast after fasting all day. Tradition says the meal should not be served until the first star comes out. Christmas in the Czech Republic means plenty of delicious food.

The table is traditionally covered in foods that have been grown by themselves throughout the year, such as mushrooms, saurkraut, garlic, goats, dried fruits, black kuba, etc. Undoubtedly, the most important part of the meal is the already cooked Christmas Carp. After dinner, it is time to gather around the Christmas tree and open gifts which Ježíšek has already brought.

How to celebrate a czech christmasFried carp and potato salad

Christmas Day and St. Stephens Day
(Štědrý den and Sv. Štěpán)

These two days (December 25th and 26th) are known as First and Second Christmas Holidays in the Czech Republic. Today they are enjoyed by relaxing with friends and family and enjoying the special time of the year together. Although, traditionally, it was a time when people came together and went door to door singing Christmas carols.

Of course, it is not Christmas without cakes and cookies. The baking starts well in advance, at the beginning of the Advent, and people indulge in sweets through the entire Christmas season. Some favorites are the sweet and aromatic vanilla crescents, “wasp nests”, marmalade cookies known as Linz, gingerbread cookies, Vánočka, a sweet white dough with raisins, and apple strudels.

Czech Christmas
Celebrating Christmas holidays in the Czech Republic.

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How to celebrate a czech christmasDecember 24 (Christmas Eve)

For many, December 24 (Е tД›drГЅ den) is the most enjoyable day of Christmas holidays. Its Czech name literally means “Generous Day”, probably for the wealth of food that has traditionally been served for Christmas dinner and fed to household and farm animals. Even poor families would make sure that their plates were full on this one day of the year.

December 24 is Adam and Eva’s name day. The Christmas tree is decorated with traditional Czech Christmas ornaments in many households and preparations are made for the most festive dinner of the year. Christmas Eve is associated with many superstitions that usually relate to life, love, and destiny that awaits one in the year to come. According to one Czech Christmas custom, one is supposed to fast all day to see the “golden piglet” (zlatГ© prasГЎtko) in the evening. Visit our Czech Christmas Customs and Superstitions page for a detailed list.

How to celebrate a czech christmas Christmas Dinner
Dinner is served after sunset (traditionally, it should not be served until after the first star has come out) and consists of carp and potato salad, sometimes preceded by mushroom, sauerkraut or fish soup. Did you know that carp can supposedly be prepared a hundred different ways? Christmas carp is specially raised in manmade ponds and then sold from large tubs placed on the streets and town squares a few days before Christmas. You will not see this sight at any other time of the year. Some families keep their carp in the bathtub for several days as a temporary pet for their children. Dinner can be finished with dessert, such as apple strudel. A traditional Christmas bread called vГЎnoДЌka (similar to the Jewish challa) used to be a part of the Christmas dinner in the past but today it has largely lost its Christmas connotation and is available year-round.

How to celebrate a czech christmasChristmas Presents
After dinner, everyone around the table may sing Christmas carols before moving to the Christmas tree, which is all lit up and beautiful. By then, presents have been placed under the tree. Czech children believe that Christmas gifts are brought by Baby Jesus (JeЕѕГ­ЕЎek) who comes into the room through the window to leave the presents. Unlike Santa Claus, Baby Jesus is a rather abstract figure with no particular physical image attached to him, and no one knows where he lives. Just like Santa though, he receives wish-list letters from Czech children a few weeks before Christmas.

Midnight Mass
Some people end Christmas Eve by attending the midnight mass (pЕЇlnoДЌnГ­ mЕЎe) at a local church. It usually starts at midnight but some churches hold it earlier, such as at 10 p.m. There can also be a Christmas Mass for children in the afternoon.

December 25 – 26

Czech Republic Christmas stretches over December 25 and 26, which are also referred to as the First and Second Christmas Holidays, or the Christmas Feast (BoЕѕГ­ hod vГЎnoДЌnГ­) and St. Stephen’s Day (Sv. Е tД›pГЎn). On St. Stephen’s Day, children, students, teachers, and the poor used to go around people’s homes singing Christmas carols. Nowadays, families stay at home and relax or visit relatives and friends to share the special time.

Early December

Understand that for Czechs, Christmas begins on December 5th. Pockmarked teens traipse through Prague dressed as angels, devils, and St. Nicholas in search of small children. Sounds creepy, so make sure to ask your Czech friends to explain the significance of this age-old tradition:

    You: “What do the children have to do if stopped by these oddly dressed teenagers?”

Czech dude/lady: “They must recite a poem or sing a song, to prove how good they have been this year. Then they get candy.”

You: “And what if they haven’t been good?”

Czech dude/lady: “They receive a potato, before getting sent to Hell in a burlap sack.”

Happy St. Mikuláš Day.

Later, discover that your host family has decided to throw a St. Mikuláš party of their own. Foreign friends and family gather their toddlers together for what is sure to be a wonderful holiday memory. Remember when your drunk uncle would sneak away during dinnertime and return dressed as Santa Claus, jovially doling out presents to your bratty cousins? This is similar to that, but much, much more terrifying.

Hear a knock at the door. Watch as the rambunctious toddlers scatter about your host flat, hiding under couches, clutching to their parents for dear life. Listen to the howl coming from beyond the door:

    “BIBLAH, BIBLAH, BIBLAH!”

Your host mother has invited the Devil to visit tonight. Not the cartoony, red-faced, goatee-sporting Americanized version of a devil — this Czech manifestation arrives covered in rags, face blackened with grease paint, spiraled horns protruding from a frizzy afro wig.

Laugh a little bit as tear-stained youngsters shakily recite their poems while eyeing the dreaded potato sack.

Mid-December

Follow your host mother to the local market a week before Christmas. Watch her bargain with a fishmonger in Czech as she points to a large bucket of fish. So mom wants carp tonight…maybe this is like going to a fancy restaurant where you get to choose your favourite lobster to later be boiled alive. Be surprised the next time you attempt to take a shower, discovering the fish your host mother haggled for is now swimming in your bathtub.

Quietly decline when your host father offers you the chance to bash the carp’s brains in with a wooden mallet three days later.

Christmas Eve

Decide between two participation options:

Option 1: Hustle the kids outside into the freezing cold. Force them to stare at the sky until they see Ježíšek, or “flying baby Jesus” — he’s the one bringing the presents. Even if they say they’ve spotted him, tell them to keep looking — you’re stalling while the others set up inside. Tell the kids to watch for something ridiculous, like a flaming ball of fire, or a rocket ship, or baby Jesus flying like Superman.

Option 2: Stick around inside the house with your host dad, rapidly assembling the entire Christmas tree, presents, and general festive ambiance before the kids come trampling through the front door for their gifts. A cold sweat starts to form as you wonder, “Oh God, what if they spot the flying baby Jesus before I’m done?!”

Later, sit down to a full Czech Christmas dinner. There’s potato salad, boiled red cabbage, and hard, sticky holiday sweets. Your buddy the carp stares you in the face, deep-fried and delicious looking. Put aside your reservations and take a bite — sorry fishy, but you taste damn good.

Watch your host family exchange a humbling set of gifts: stockings filled with clementines. A picture frame of the entire family from their vacation to Greece. Wooden alphabet blocks. St. Nikolas made of tin and stuffed with sweets. Feel loved as your host mother hands you a small, brightly wrapped box.

Laugh at the potato resting on a bed of delicate tissue paper. Your host siblings smile as they stand before you, potato sack opened and waiting for you to hop in.

How to celebrate a czech christmas

Like many European nations, the Czech Republic is known for celebrating Christmas at the Christmas markets scattered around the city. But this is only part of how Christmas is celebrated in the country, and the Czech Christmas traditions at home might seem a little weird to people from other countries.

Christmas Eve dinner

Christmas (or Vánoce in Czech) is primarily celebrated on Christmas Eve. That’s when the big dinner feast is held and surprisingly, when the Christmas tree is put up. Fasting throughout the day is common on Christmas Eve until dinnertime. According to legend, you fast all day in the hopes of seeing the “golden pig” in the evening. It’s unclear if this is supposed to be starvation-fueled hallucination, but you certainly won’t see a golden pig on the dinner table, because carp is what’s for dinner in the Czech Republic on Christmas Eve.

In the days leading up to Christmas, carp that have been raised in the lakes of the country are brought to town squares in large vats full of water. Traditionally, families pick out a carp and take it home to live in the bathtub until the 24 th when the carp is killed and cooked for dinner. I can’t begin to comprehend how one would take a giant carp home alive in the first place, much less go about killing it in your home without accidentally decorating for Halloween in your bathroom. If you want to celebrate Christmas without all the gore, you can buy fresh carp from the markets or the grocery store.

How to celebrate a czech christmas

Christmas Eve dinner consists of carp, served fried, along with carp soup and potato salad. Like all traditions, everyone has their own way of preparing the carp, and some families skip the carp altogether. If you want to try it yourself, here is a good recipe guide for carp and other traditional Czech Christmas favorites.

The Ježíšek tradition

Unlike jolly Saint Nick coming to visit on Christmas Eve like in many other countries, the Christmas visitor who brings the goods in the Czech Republic is baby Jesus, or Ježíšek. It’s kind of ridiculous for children to believe that a baby can deliver presents to your house, but I suppose no more so than a heavy elderly man. Children all around the country who are sitting for Christmas Eve dinner will hear the sound of a bell to signify that Ježíšek has stopped by. Presents are opened right after dinner and not the next morning.

Not only does Ježíšek bring the presents, Czech Christmas tradition dictates he bring the tree, too! Instead of putting up the tree weeks before Christmas, a lot of families will decorate the tree on Christmas Eve. This is perhaps my favorite Czech Christmas tradition, because when you think about it, it’s the most festive activity of the Christmas season. It makes perfect sense to enjoy that with family on Christmas Eve. If you put your tree up on December 1, it’s probably going to be dead and browning by Christmas. Instead, the Czechs get to enjoy Christmas out in the public squares for the entire month of December, buying mistletoe and ornaments before celebrating privately at home.

Traditionally, the tree is supposed to stay up until the 6 th of Christmas, but I’ve seen the remains of a Christmas tree being taken downstairs as late as March, so people really push it with the festivities.

Christmas Day

Having fasted and feasted and enjoyed the presents under the tree, Christmas Day in the Czech Republic is a lot more relaxed. Another family meal is in order but there are no hard or fast rules about what’s on the menu. Many opt for turkey, goose, or duck. Like all traditional Czech dishes, it’s typically served with cabbage and dumplings – making this similar to other big festive dinners like the Feast of St. Martin. For religious families, a mass is a popular way to celebrate the day – with some masses held at midnight on Christmas Eve. Most people just hang around at home since everything is closed (though the outdoor Christmas markets are still open).

More on the Christmas markets in Prague here.

Along with the 25 th of December, the 26 th which is St. Stephen’s Day, is also a commonly celebrated Czech Christmas tradition. It used to be that people celebrated the day by going caroling, a tradition that’s still maintained in some areas. Known as Second Christmas, it’s a day everyone has off and is celebrated mostly at home or with relatives. After the heavy dinner(s) of Christmas, it’s a good time to enjoy the sweets of the season before they’re gone – no Christmas cookies or gingerbread until next Vánoce!

Czech Christmas
Celebrating Christmas holidays in the Czech Republic.

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How to celebrate a czech christmasDecember 24 (Christmas Eve)

For many, December 24 (Е tД›drГЅ den) is the most enjoyable day of Christmas holidays. Its Czech name literally means “Generous Day”, probably for the wealth of food that has traditionally been served for Christmas dinner and fed to household and farm animals. Even poor families would make sure that their plates were full on this one day of the year.

December 24 is Adam and Eva’s name day. The Christmas tree is decorated with traditional Czech Christmas ornaments in many households and preparations are made for the most festive dinner of the year. Christmas Eve is associated with many superstitions that usually relate to life, love, and destiny that awaits one in the year to come. According to one Czech Christmas custom, one is supposed to fast all day to see the “golden piglet” (zlatГ© prasГЎtko) in the evening. Visit our Czech Christmas Customs and Superstitions page for a detailed list.

How to celebrate a czech christmas Christmas Dinner
Dinner is served after sunset (traditionally, it should not be served until after the first star has come out) and consists of carp and potato salad, sometimes preceded by mushroom, sauerkraut or fish soup. Did you know that carp can supposedly be prepared a hundred different ways? Christmas carp is specially raised in manmade ponds and then sold from large tubs placed on the streets and town squares a few days before Christmas. You will not see this sight at any other time of the year. Some families keep their carp in the bathtub for several days as a temporary pet for their children. Dinner can be finished with dessert, such as apple strudel. A traditional Christmas bread called vГЎnoДЌka (similar to the Jewish challa) used to be a part of the Christmas dinner in the past but today it has largely lost its Christmas connotation and is available year-round.

How to celebrate a czech christmasChristmas Presents
After dinner, everyone around the table may sing Christmas carols before moving to the Christmas tree, which is all lit up and beautiful. By then, presents have been placed under the tree. Czech children believe that Christmas gifts are brought by Baby Jesus (JeЕѕГ­ЕЎek) who comes into the room through the window to leave the presents. Unlike Santa Claus, Baby Jesus is a rather abstract figure with no particular physical image attached to him, and no one knows where he lives. Just like Santa though, he receives wish-list letters from Czech children a few weeks before Christmas.

Midnight Mass
Some people end Christmas Eve by attending the midnight mass (pЕЇlnoДЌnГ­ mЕЎe) at a local church. It usually starts at midnight but some churches hold it earlier, such as at 10 p.m. There can also be a Christmas Mass for children in the afternoon.

December 25 – 26

Czech Republic Christmas stretches over December 25 and 26, which are also referred to as the First and Second Christmas Holidays, or the Christmas Feast (BoЕѕГ­ hod vГЎnoДЌnГ­) and St. Stephen’s Day (Sv. Е tД›pГЎn). On St. Stephen’s Day, children, students, teachers, and the poor used to go around people’s homes singing Christmas carols. Nowadays, families stay at home and relax or visit relatives and friends to share the special time.