Prague Mayor serves Christmas soup at Old Town Square

Bohuslav Svoboda took part in the annual tradition of serving carp soup on Old Town Square this afternoon as Prague welcomes the Christmas holidays. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.12.2023 13:54:00 (updated on 24.12.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague's Old Town Square witnessed the return of a Christmas tradition as Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda and other members of the Prague City Council served traditional Christmas fish soup to locals and visitors this afternoon.

The free soup distribution, a long-standing tradition originating as aid for the needy, continued despite initial considerations of cancellation in solidarity with the recent tragic events at Charles University. Chefs from Taiko, the company that operates the Christmas markets in central Prague, prepared the soup for visitors.

Commencing at 11 a.m., Svoboda and council colleagues took part in pouring the soup from four large containers. Despite the efficient distribution by politicians and Taiko employees, long queues formed as people eagerly collected the Christmas soup, even bringing their containers for takeaway.

"This custom is significant because it signifies that we belong together, have sympathy for each other, and, essentially, that we love each other," Svoboda stated, emphasizing the importance of preserving this tradition as a symbol of unity and mutual care.

The decision to continue the event despite discussions following the tragic shooting at Charles University's Faculty of Arts on Thursday was ultimately a demonstration of solidarity and resilience.

The traditional fish soup, prepared by a team of six Taiko chefs, featured a unique recipe using 260 kilograms of carp from Czech fish ponds, 130 kilograms of vegetables (mainly carrots, celery, and parsley), 40 kilograms of onions, 90 kilograms of flour, 65 kilograms of butter, 60 liters of cream, brandy, and caramel.

The chefs also added butter-fried croutons to enhance the flavor. Participants in the soup-serving event wore black mourning ribbons to honor the victims of the recent tragedy.

In addition to Svoboda, Prague council members Petr Hlaváček, Alexandra Udženija, Jiří Pospíšil, Jana Komrsková, and Michal Hroza participated. Patrik Nacher, head of the ANO opposition faction, also joined the event.

Beyond Old Town Square, soup distribution continued at Kampa and, starting at 2 p.m., on Wenceslas Square. Terezie Radoměřská, the mayor of Prague 1, and other members of the Prague 1 leadership joined in serving the soup at these locations.

Public Christmas Day celebrations at Old Town Square in Prague will conclude with a performance of Jakub Jan Ryba's Czech Christmas Mass, which begins at 9 p.m.

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