Today I’d like to do something I’ve never done before. Since I’m doing a somewhat of my own version of blogmas this month, I want to incorporate a couple of Christmas related blog posts. And so today, I will write about my Christmas traditions. I come from the Czech Republic and most of my traffic is from all over the world so I thought it might be interesting for you to have a look inside into a different culture. I just want to say that my family is not religious, we are not Christians. However, we do celebrate Christmas despite that.
I guess the very first tradition of my, and Czech Christmas time in general, is St. Nicholas’ Day, which is on the 5th of December. In the evening on this day, a family member or a family friend comes to visit the child dressed as St. Nicholas with an angel and a devil (or a couple of them). The child has to tell them a short poem or to sing a song and then the child will get a bag of sweets, which were bought by his parents, of course. This can be a traumatic experience for some children. Or is it just me? Anyway, if the child has been unruly, they will get just a bag of potatoes. Although, I never saw or heard of this actually happening.
If you celebrate Christmas, then it’s no surprise for you to have a decorated tree at home. It sounds ridiculous when I write it like this, but anyway, we do it as well. Apparently, we are supposed to decorate it on the Christmas day. However, my family decorates the tree in around mid-December already.
Another Christmas time tradition is the advent wreath. To be honest, I don’t really know about other countries Christmas traditions so I don’t know if this is a common tradition or not. Basically, there are four candles on the wreath and every Sunday since the beginning of December until the Christmas Day (which is on the 24th in the Czech Republic), we light one of those candles.
Fast forward to the Christmas Day. There are many traditions held on the Christmas Day. However, I won’t really write about any of them because my family doesn’t do them. My Christmas Day is usually filled with eating loads of Christmas sweets, watching Christmas films, and listening to Christmas carols while helping my mum with cooking the Christmas dinner, which is either carp or fried pork or chicken with potato salad. Since I don’t eat meat, I’m happy with anything else. In fact, I don’t even care about my Christmas dinner because the only thing I think about all day is when will we go to the Christmas tree to exchange our presents. In the Czech Republic, this happens after the Christmas dinner.
Of course, children don’t know that the presents are actually from family members. They believe that they are from baby Jesus. Even though we call him that way, it feels rather unbelievable to me that a baby could fly around the entire country during one evening to give presents to everyone, so I personally picture him more like Santa Claus. I mean, there is nothing believable on an old man flying in a sleigh pulled by reindeers either doing the same thing. I just find the concept of Santa Claus or Father Christmas much more likable.
And then, it’s over. The presents are unwrapped, the wrapping paper is torn everywhere all over the floor and there is another year ahead.
And that’s all for my Christmas traditions. I hope you enjoyed it and see you next time!
xoxo, S. V.