There will be tears: Mikuláš and his angels and devils will make their masked rounds this year

Online and socially distanced options are already booking up for Czech St. Nicholas; here's what you need to know

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro
Published on 01.12.2020 11:20 (updated on 01.12.2020)

Czech St. Nicholas (Mikuláš) celebrations, taking place this year on Dec. 5, will be a bit different due in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic with many of the clubs and organizations that host these annual outings taking the experience online.

In the European advent calendar, St. Nicholas (Mikuláš) pays a visit to children during the first week of December, bearing gifts of sweets to the well behaved. He is traditionally accompanied by a devil (Čert) and angel (Anděl ), the former whose role is to carry “naughty” kids away in his sack.

In general, the devils are cartoonish and friendly enough, often played by local teenagers out to earn pocket money. Others are leering demons straight out of the Krampus tradition. Most families encounter this festive trio at organized events or schools parties and many invite St. Nicholas and company into their home for a private show.

In light of the ongoing risk during the pandemic, many organizations across the country are responding by canceling their Mikuláš plans. A number of kindergartens across the country are canceling their St. Nicholas visits as well.

Earlier in the month, Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček suggested that people skip the tradition all together this year.

Other groups are planning socially distanced St. Nicholas visits this year, that include both online at in-person options.

Some scaled-back Mikuláš events may take place but if they do they will need to comply with strict hygiene guidelines. Minister of Health, Jan Blatný (for ANO), said after Sunday's government meeting that "there will be no special St. Nicholas decree" and that "the saint his devlis much follow the same precautions as earthly beings."

Manifesto lets you order a St. Nicholas to go this year / photo via Manifesto Market
Manifesto lets you order a St. Nicholas to go this year / photo via Manifesto Market

Mikuláš participants will still have to adhere to current pandemic regulations. Only ten people can meet inside, according to Blatný. Face masks must be worn both inside and outside as well.

Here are a handful of online and socially distance events taking place in Prague:

  • In Prague, the Nová Trojka family and cultural center in Žižkov will a host a clickable Mikuláš option for families. The virtual meeting will look the same as if families were to come visit the center.
  • Manifesto Market's new delivery service lets Praguers enjoy mulled wine from as well as order up a socially-distanced visit from Mikuláš. On Dec. 5 and 6, their Saint Nicholas and his Angel and Devil will show up in person (maintaining 2-meter social distancing protocols) with a sweet gift for good girls and boys.
  • Prague Venice will host a St. Nicholas cruise for families on Dec. 5, boats leave every 15 minutes from 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm from the underground port Judita (Křižovnické náměstí No. 3, Prague 1).
  • "Pravej letenckej Mikuláš" will host a stationary St. Nicholas event at the Šlechtova restaurant in Stromovka park on Saturday between 4 pm and 6pm. The group asks visitors to observe mask-wearing and spacing.
  • Atrium na Žižkově will host a unique contactless "Mikulášomat," Saturday Dec. 5 from 4 pm to 9 pm.


Note that many of the groups and organizations that did not cancel their festivities have almost completely booked up due to high demand so it's best to get your orders in in advance. Angel, devil, and St. Nicholas impersonators can be found on Czech sites such as Bazos.cz.

Or just skip the custom entirely: in recent years, psychologists have suggested families steer clear of drunken devils; though some believe that confronting fear (and feeling courageous) is a healthy part of childhood development.