Czech Xmas




Hi guys, I have a question. What are your impressions - opinions - tips etc about czech xmas? What are you missing and what do you like? How will you celebrate? I just need to know for some project at work, so if you could just help me by posting your experience, I would really appreciate it... Thanks and merry Xmas (once its here)

16:31:08 13.10.2011 Helena7890

Quote: sarkahinHi guys, I have a question. What are your impressions - opinions - tips etc about czech xmas? What are you missing and what do you like? How will you celebrate? I just need to know for some project at work, so if you could just help me by posting your experience, I would really appreciate it... Thanks and merry Xmas (once its here)

keywords: Ježíšek rodina kapr bramborový salát vánoční cukroví půlnoční mše and, ehm, Mrazík

17:05:34 13.10.2011 jezovec

Ah yes Xmas, taking Christ out of Christmas.

18:24:57 13.10.2011 JKG

Quote: JKGAh yes Xmas, taking Christ out of Christmas.

yep, that's why i call it xmas.

22:38:08 13.10.2011 musicsavedmylife2

best way I celebrate Xmas is by leaving- Family is what Xmas is about for me (of course you can consider friends as your family, or even strangers/fellow personkind) I hope i´ll be in UK for Xmas- maximum 7days though, thats quite enough, by then i´ll be looking forward to comming back home here.

07:09:51 14.10.2011 JIZEK

Quote: JKGAh yes Xmas, taking Christ out of Christmas.

The "-mas" part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for "Mass",while the "X" comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, translated as "Christ". There is a common misconception that the word Xmas is a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas by taking the "Christ" out of "Christmas". ;) Which is why I just celebrate the fact that I have a few days off work and an excuse to eat too much :cool: :o

11:51:43 16.10.2011 TimOwen

Interesting, didnt know that...

Quote: TimOwenThe "-mas" part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for "Mass",while the "X" comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, translated as "Christ". There is a common misconception that the word Xmas is a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas by taking the "Christ" out of "Christmas". ;) Which is why I just celebrate the fact that I have a few days off work and an excuse to eat too much :cool: :o

14:15:40 18.10.2011 Helena7890

Czech xmas- rubbish, boring food, and very fast. I´ve spent many xmas´s here, some alone, some with Czech families, overall.... rubbish. I do like the weather in Cz, its more xmasy. I much prefer UK xmas, I prefer the food, the atmosphere, the games, and the following days after xmas.

15:12:56 19.10.2011 JIZEK

That's why we do both Czech Christmas and American Christmas - double the celebrations :)

10:28:47 20.10.2011 Jen

Quote: JIZEKCzech xmas- rubbish, boring food, and very fast. I´ve spent many xmas´s here, some alone, some with Czech families, overall.... rubbish. I do like the weather in Cz, its more xmasy. I much prefer UK xmas, I prefer the food, the atmosphere, the games, and the following days after xmas.

it depends what you grew up with i reckon - i grew up with czech christmases in the us - much easier to deal with them here ;) why do you say czech christmases are very fast ?

10:45:05 20.10.2011 meluzina

Quote: meluzina why do you say czech christmases are very fast ?

because there is no build up, and its all over a done with in one afternoon.

11:49:28 20.10.2011 JIZEK

Quote: JIZEKbecause there is no build up, and its all over a done with in one afternoon.

and it is premature.

11:59:05 20.10.2011 Krtecek

Quote: JIZEKbecause there is no build up, and its all over a done with in one afternoon.

That's what makes it so good !

12:23:51 20.10.2011 skoba uk

Quote: JIZEKbecause there is no build up, and its all over a done with in one afternoon.

eh ???? afternoon ? whatcha on about willis? should start at sundown on christmas eve (that does not include the preparations leading up to that) and ends on st. stephen's day ... and of course there is st. nicholas day for the kids earlier in the month ....

12:25:15 20.10.2011 meluzina

Quote: meluzinaeh ???? afternoon ? whatcha on about willis? should start at sundown on christmas eve (that does not include the preparations leading up to that) and ends on st. stephen's day ... and of course there is st. nicholas day for the kids earlier in the month ....

perhaps you never had traditional Czech xmas :D go out in the morning see friends drink shitloads of slivo, go home scoff crapy carp and potatoe salad, then everyone goes their seperate ways, or to the pub. and thats that. ;)

07:28:06 21.10.2011 JIZEK

Quote: JIZEKperhaps you never had traditional Czech xmas :D go out in the morning see friends drink shitloads of slivo, go home scoff crapy carp and potatoe salad, then everyone goes their seperate ways, or to the pub. and thats that. ;)

i guess i live in a different czech republic then and so does the vast majority of my family - around here: christmas eve dinner at sundown - usually immediate family on christmas eve - gift opening after dinner - spend the evening together - go to midnight mass (a lot of people still go, even those that do not go to church otherwise) - come back from midnight mass for vanocka and tea or something stronger - christmas day: big lunch of roast duck, goose or turkey and visiting people st. stephen's day - general visiting day for many ... and more food ....

07:53:06 21.10.2011 meluzina

Quote: meluzinai guess i live in a different czech republic then and so does the vast majority of my family - around here: christmas eve dinner at sundown - usually immediate family on christmas eve - gift opening after dinner - spend the evening together - go to midnight mass (a lot of people still go, even those that do not go to church otherwise) - come back from midnight mass for vanocka and tea or something stronger - christmas day: big lunch of roast duck, goose or turkey and visiting people st. stephen's day - general visiting day for many ... and more food ....

I guess you do, no czech people I know have roast duck, goose or turkey, none go to midnight mass, and after gift opening do not spend the evening together. ;) roast duck, goose or turkey definately doesn´t sound Czech :D but it the UK its normal, my last UK xmas we had a mix- there was duck, chicken and turkey :p im not saying Czech xmas is bad, for Czech people, just rubbish for me, I personally, would rather not have a Cz xmas, being alone here is definately not good at xmas, and being invited to friends places is also a bit uncomfortable, spending time with someone elses family, id rather be with my own. :)

11:11:17 21.10.2011 JIZEK

I am Czech and I must say that the way my family celebrates it is much closer to what meluzina describes, and the same goes for most of my czech friends. Roast duck or goose is a common "festive" dish here, my grandma made goose every year on st. stephen's for the extended family...

11:47:56 21.10.2011 ikan

Quote: JIZEKI guess you do, no czech people I know have roast duck, goose or turkey, none go to midnight mass, and after gift opening do not spend the evening together. ;) roast duck, goose or turkey definately doesn´t sound Czech :D but it the UK its normal, my last UK xmas we had a mix- there was duck, chicken and turkey :p im not saying Czech xmas is bad, for Czech people, just rubbish for me, I personally, would rather not have a Cz xmas, being alone here is definately not good at xmas, and being invited to friends places is also a bit uncomfortable, spending time with someone elses family, id rather be with my own. :)

my parents grew up in the 19820s and 1930s - all through their childhoods and even during the war, my grandmums made sure there was a goose on the table - both my parents and all of my aunts and uncles (all 18 of them and their spouses - and now most of my cousins) kept up this tradition - i am usr eit is disappearing amongst the younger generation - ads are many other things :( i can completely udnerstand wanting to spend christmas with your family though - i would if i could ;) not that my cousins don't invite me - although they have stopped as i always said no - it is one of the days i miss both my parents the most though :(

12:03:47 21.10.2011 meluzina

so you all enjoy a traditional English/Ameriacn xmas rather than a Czech one? :D

Czech Republic and Slovakia http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/31/Christmas_in_Prague%27s_Old_Town_Square.jpg/220px-Christmas_in_Prague%27s_Old_Town_Square.jpg http://bits.wikimedia.org/skins-1.18/common/images/magnify-clip.png Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic - Christmastime. Main article: Czech Christmas Mass Christmas Eve (24 December) is celebrated as 'Štědrý den', which means "Generous Day", when the gifts are given in the evening. The 25th and 26 December are Public holidays in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. According to tradition, gifts are brought by Ježíšek, or "baby Jesus". Many very old Christmas traditions are followed, mostly for fun. People usually fast on Christmas Eve and only eat a spot of sauerkraut soup to keep them going during the fasting period; traditionally children are encouraged to fast alongside the adults with the promise that the best amongst them will see the "golden piglet", which brings good luck. Fish soup and breaded roasted Carp with special homemade potato salad are a traditional dish for the dinner. The gifts are secretly displayed under the Christmas tree (usually a spruce or pine) by one of the adults, usually just before or during dinner. Children have to wait for the ringing of a Christmas bell (one of the decorations on the Christmas tree) - the sign that 'Ježíšek' (little Jesus) has just passed by - to run for the presents. That happens at the end of their Christmas dinner. Other Czech and Slovak Christmas traditions involve predictions for the future. Apples are always cut crosswise: if a perfect star appears in the core, the next year will be successful, distorted star means a bad year or illness, while a cross may suggest death. Girls throw shoes over their shoulders - if the toe points to the door, the girl will get married soon. Another tradition requires pouring some molten lead into water and guessing a message from its shapes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_worldwide

United Kingdom http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/Trafalgar_Square_Christmas_Carols_-_Dec_2006.jpg/250px-Trafalgar_Square_Christmas_Carols_-_Dec_2006.jpg http://bits.wikimedia.org/skins-1.18/common/images/magnify-clip.png Christmas Tree and carolers at Trafalgar Square in London, UK In the United Kingdom the Christmas season starts at Advent, where holly wreaths are made with three purple, one pink and one white candle. However many shops sell Christmas decorations beforehand. It lasts until 6 January (Epiphany), as it is considered bad luck to have Christmas decorations up after this date. On Christmas Eve, presents are supposedly delivered in stockings and under the Christmas tree by Father Christmas, who previously had been something like The Ghost of Christmas Present in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, but has now become mainly conflated with Santa Claus. The two names are now used interchangeably and equally known to British people, but Father Christmas tends to be used more often, and some distinctive features still remain. Many families tell their children stories about Father Christmas and his reindeer. One tradition is to put out a plate of carrots for the reindeer and mince pies and sherry for Father Christmas, to help him on his way. Few families open their presents on Christmas Eve, the Royal family being a notable exception, and Queen Victoria as a child makes note of it in her diary for Christmas Eve 1832, the delighted 13-year-old princess wrote, "After dinner...we then went into the drawing-room near the dining-room...There were two large round tables on which were placed two trees hung with lights and sugar ornaments. All the presents being placed round the trees..". Since the first commercial Christmas card was produced in London in 1843, cards are sent in the weeks leading up to Christmas, many of which contain the English festive greeting Merry Christmas. On Christmas Day, a public holiday in the United Kingdom, nearly the whole population has the day off to be with their family and friends, so they can gather round for a traditional Christmas dinner, which is usually a turkey, traditionally with cranberries, parsnips, and roast potatoes, quite like the Sunday roast, and traditionally followed by a Christmas pudding. During the meal, Christmas crackers, containing toys, jokes and a paper hat are pulled. Attendance at a Christmas Day church service is less popular than it used to be with fewer than 3 million now attending a Christmas Day Church of England service. Watching the Queen's Speech on TV is a tradition that still remains hugely important in many households' Christmas Day, typically averaging 10 million viewers on TV and 2 million listeners via radio. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bc/Regent_Street_Christmas_Lights_-_Dec_2006.jpg/250px-Regent_Street_Christmas_Lights_-_Dec_2006.jpg http://bits.wikimedia.org/skins-1.18/common/images/magnify-clip.png Christmas lights on Regent Street, London, UK The Celebration of Boxing Day on the day after Christmas Day is a tradition practiced in the UK. It is a bank holiday, and if it happens to fall on a weekend then a special Bank Holiday Monday will occur. Also, depending on the day of the week, it is often a day when football matches are played in the professional leagues and many people go to watch their team play. Notably, for Catholics, it is one of the main Holy Days of Obligation. Other traditions include carol singing, where many carols are sung by children on people's doorsteps and by professional choirs, and sending Christmas cards. In public, there are decorations and lights in most shops, especially in town centres, and even in Indian and Chinese restaurants. Churches and cathedrals across the country hold masses, with many people going to midnight mass or a service on Christmas morning. Even though church attendance has been falling over the decades some people who do not go to church often think it is still important to go at Christmas, so Church attendance increases. Most theatres have a tradition of putting on a Christmas pantomime for children. The pantomime stories are traditionally based on popular children's stories such as Little Red Riding Hood and Aladdin, rather than being directly concerned with Christmas as such, although there is sometimes a link. Television is widely watched: for many television channels,Christmas Day is the most important day of the year in terms of ratings. Many Britons still watch the Queen's annual Christmas

12:14:20 21.10.2011 JIZEK

Quote: JIZEKso you all enjoy a traditional English/Ameriacn xmas rather than a Czech one? :D

nope - we have a traditional czech christmas eve dinner and a traditional czech christmas day (late) lunch .... and st. stephens i usually go round to friends' houses and thus avoid having to cook yet another large meal :)

12:38:11 21.10.2011 meluzina

Quote: meluzinanope - we have a traditional czech christmas eve dinner and a traditional czech christmas day (late) lunch ....

traditional xmas day lunch is turkey,goose, duck? I beg to differ- sorry, but .......

Central Europe In countries of Central Europe (for this purpose, roughly defined as the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland and possibly other places) the main celebration date for the general public is Christmas Eve (December 24). The day is usually a fasting day; in some places children are told they'll see a golden pig if they hold fast until after dinner. When the evening comes preparation of Christmas Dinner starts. Traditions concerning dinner vary from region to region, for example, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the prevailing meal is fried carp with potato salad and fish (or cabbage) soup. However, in some places the tradition is porridge with mushrooms (a modest dish), and elsewhere the dinner is exceptionally rich, with up to 12 dishes. This in fact reveals that when christmas comes around all the kids get presents from neighbors and house guest. Even the house pet got a little something to knaw on. After the dinner comes the time for gifts. Tradition varies with region, commonly gifts are attributed to Christkind: German (Little Jesus) or their real originators (e.g. parents). Children usually find their gifts under the Christmas Tree, with name stickers. An interesting example of complicated history of the region is the "fight" between Christmas beings. During communism, when countries of Central Europe were under Soviet influence, communist authorities strongly pushed Russian traditional Ded Moroz ("Grandfather Frost") in the place of Christkind. Little Jesus won. Now Santa Claus is attacking, by means of advertising and Hollywood film production. Many people, Christians as well as people with just a Christian background, go to Roman Catholic midnight mass celebration. Other common attributes of Christmas in Germany and Central Europe include Christmas trees, mistletoe, Christmas garlands, and Bethlehem cribs. In many areas of Central Europe, St Nicholas (Hungarian: Mikulás, Czech: Mikuláš, Slovak: Mikuláš), or Santa Claus, does not come for Christmas. He visits families earlier, on the dawn of St. Nicholas Day on December 6, and for the well-behaved children he has presents and candy-bags to put into their well polished shoes that were set in the windows the previous evening. Although he neither parks his sleigh on rooftops nor climbs chimneys, his visits are usually accompanied by a diabolic-looking servant named Krampusz (in Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia: Krampus, in Czech and Slovak regions he is simply "čert", i.e. devil, without any name) who gives golden coloured birches for so called badly-behaved children. Actually all children get both gifts and golden birches (Hungarian: virgács)in their shoes, no matter how they behaved themselves. Czech Republic and Slovakia http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/31/Christmas_in_Prague%27s_Old_Town_Square.jpg/220px-Christmas_in_Prague%27s_Old_Town_Square.jpg http://bits.wikimedia.org/skins-1.18/common/images/magnify-clip.png Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic - Christmastime. Main article: Czech Christmas Mass Christmas Eve (24 December) is celebrated as 'Štědrý den', which means "Generous Day", when the gifts are given in the evening. The 25th and 26 December are Public holidays in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. According to tradition, gifts are brought by Ježíšek, or "baby Jesus". Many very old Christmas traditions are followed, mostly for fun. People usually fast on Christmas Eve and only eat a spot of sauerkraut soup to keep them going during the fasting period; traditionally children are encouraged to fast alongside the adults with the promise that the best amongst them will see the "golden piglet", which brings good luck. Fish soup and breaded roasted Carp with special homemade potato salad are a traditional dish for the dinner. The gifts are secretly displayed under the Christmas tree (usually a spruce or pine) by one of the adults, usually just before or during dinner. Children have to wait for the ringing of a Christmas bell (one of the decorations on the Christmas tree) - the sign that 'Ježíšek' (little Jesus) has just passed by - to run for the presents. That happens at the end of their Christmas dinner. Other Czech and Slovak Christmas traditions involve predictions for the future. Apples are always cut crosswise: if a perfect star appears in the core, the next year will be successful, distorted star means a bad year or illness, while a cross may suggest death. Girls throw shoes over their shoulders - if the toe points to the door, the girl will get married soon. Another tradition requires pouring some molten lead into water and guessing a message from its shapes.

;)

12:50:01 21.10.2011 JIZEK

Quote: JIZEKtraditional xmas day lunch is turkey,goose, duck?

within my family it always was (as i mentioned above) - asked my boyfriend at lunch - in his family as well - and i know most families around here do - and these are families with no uk/us connections ;)

13:01:55 21.10.2011 meluzina

Quote: meluzinawithin my family it always was (as i mentioned above) - asked my boyfriend at lunch - in his family as well - and i know most families around here do - and these are families with no uk/us connections ;)

im not French, and have no french connections, but I enjoy croisants for breakfast ;) :D

13:07:45 21.10.2011 JIZEK

to jizek: some supporting materials for what i say: 25. a 26. prosinec jsou opět velmi slavnostní dny, které se nesou ve znamení rodinných návštěv, slavnostních obědů a večeří. Obvykle se podává typicky český pokrm pečená husa se zelím a knedlíky nebo kachna, popř. krůta (source: http://www.kurzy.cz/vanoce/bozi-hod-vanocni.htm) A jak slavili Boží hod vánoční naši předkové? Za prvé si oddechli! Skončil půst a nastala doba hodů. Ke slovu přišla dozlatova vypečená husička husa se zelím bílým i červeným a s knedlíkem. (source: http://zena.centrum.cz/deti/clanek.phtml?old_url=deti/novinky/2010/12/25/clanky/bozi-hod-vanocni-proc-se-vlastne-hoduje/) Zjistila jsem, že v rámci Vánočního menu děvčata nacvičovaly houbového Kubu a na Boží hod vánoční (25.12.) pekly husu s houskovým knedlíkem (source: http://www.hopeandhelp.cz/index.php/cs/aktualne/69-vanoce) Boží hod vánoční - 25. prosince - byl dnem rozjímání a dokonce se zakazovala jakákoliv práce - Hospodyně nesměly ani ustlat lůžka. Ale o co méně se pracovalo, o to více se jedlo. Jídlo bylo sváteční a zpravidla na ně doplatila pěkně vykrmená husa. (source: http://www.skautkurim.cz/druziny/vanoce-kouzelny-cas-a-jejich-tradice/) Patřilo k tradici Štědrého večera, že po rybí polévce byl kapr hlavním chodem. Na Boží Hod vánoční pak trůnívala na stole česká husa s knedlíky a se zelím. (source: http://www.kohoutikriz.org/data/w_schnei.php)

13:24:20 21.10.2011 meluzina

To Mel, I believe your sources are recomendations- not tradition.

13:36:49 21.10.2011 JIZEK

recommendations ???? why the first one says that "as a rule, typical czech roast goose with sauerkraut (or cabbage au naturel) and dumplings is served why the second one, the one that starts out "how did our forefathers celebrate christmas day?", mentions that a "golden-brown roasted goose held centre stage" the third one is an article on a cookery book written by a sixteen year old in 1929 - the writer of the article comments that the young women of that time, practiced their future cooking skills during the holidays, and the one thing they prepared for christmas day was... roast goose the fourth one mentions that christmas day all work was to be avoided - inc;luding making of beds .... then goes on to say that the food was festive and as a rule, a well-fed goose paid with its life ... the fifth one say, it was traditional on christmas eve that the fish soup was followed by carp as the main course. Then, on christmas day, a czech goose with dumplings and cabbage had the main place on the table... yep, sure sound like "recommendations" to me ;)

13:52:17 21.10.2011 meluzina

then I apologise, and will say that the Czech xmas´s I experienced were not Czech traditional xmas´s, but perhaps typical czech xmas´s? no.one I know has goose on the 25th, they celebrate the 24th, and 25th just visit friends/family for a piss-up. you could write to wikipedia and ask them to correct their site :-)

14:29:40 21.10.2011 JIZEK

you can ask them to update/correct the czech version of wiki too :-) http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%A1noce for Eng speakers- http://translate.google.com/translate?ie=utf-8&oe=UTF&u=http%3A%2F%2Fcs.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FV%25C3%25A1noce&sl=cs&tl=en&hl=en

14:42:02 21.10.2011 JIZEK

goose/turkey on the 25th is pretty common

15:10:56 21.10.2011 mxp_banned

indeed, I asked one of my colleagues and he said too that on the 25th he and his family will go to his grandmas and have lunch, said probably duck, but could be goose, maybe its just me and my bad experiences, I guess the people I spent xmas´s with were all young and only interested in going out and getting lashed :-)

16:55:20 21.10.2011 JIZEK

I think it really depends... Im Czech but we dont have goose or duck, but my family is just me and parents, I think we wouldnt even be able to finish the whole bird. But my colleagues say they do have this... However, I think the bird is not so important, I think the major thing is, that most of Czechs are atheists, so they dont seem to perceive the traditions so strongly, therefore they eat sometimes řízek, sometimes carp... I personally like to spend Xmas somewhere else - I keep traveling every winter away from here down to south... Last time I have spent it in Bombay, people were lighting up thin candles around some church, it was 30 degrees in the night, very nice :) Plus I love fish but hate carp... This time it will be probably Thailand, looking forward for some Xmas tom yum khai :))) (I know they are buddhists of course...)

09:50:11 25.10.2011 Helena7890