How to get in on St. Nicholas fun in Prague in 2022

While Mikuláš, the Devil, and Angel traditionally come on Dec. 5, a number of events are scheduled for this weekend. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.12.2022 15:45:00 (updated on 02.12.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

A trio of Sv. Mikuláš, Čert, and Anděl come on the evening of Dec. 5 as part of a centuries-old folk tradition. In villages, the trio goes door to door. In larger cities like Prague, it is now more common for families to gather at the holiday markets in the early evening to pose for pictures with various costumed participants.

According to tradition, Sv. Mikuláš (St. Nicholas) rewards good children with treats, while the Čert (Devil) admonishes the bad ones with a lump of coal and a shake of the chains. The Anděl (Angel) keeps them company.

This year, since Dec. 5 is on a Monday, a lot of organized celebrations are on the weekend; people will still congregate on Old Town Square on Dec. 5 as usual.

In recent years, Dec. 5 has also belonged to Krampus, a child-stealing demon who turns up in elaborate furry costumes to truly give the little ones a scare and also pose for selfies with those who are brave of heart. They come to the holiday markets and are also increasingly part of organized Krampus Parades.

Selfie time with Krampus. Photo: Raymond Johnston.
Selfie time with Krampus. Photo: Raymond Johnston.

People costumed as either Krampus or Čert now tend to dominate the traditional informal gatherings at holiday markets on Dec. 5. The traditional Čert typically has red battery-powered horns that light up, a face blackened by coal dust, and some papier-mâché chains to rattle.

Mikuláš – in a red-and-white bishop’s outfit with a miter and a crozier – can still be seen with some frequency, but winged angels with halos have become a bit of a rarity.

The events on Dec. 5 are just a prelude to larger celebrations later in the month. Most presents are delivered on the evening of Dec. 24 by Ježíšek (Baby Jesus), also known as Christkindl in some countries. Due to international marketing, increasingly Jolly Saint Nick has been pushing aside Ježíšek as the person who delivers gifts on the evening of Dec. 24, causing confusion since St. Nick was just here a few weeks earlier.

Angel in Old Town Square. Photo: Raymond Johnston.
Angel in Old Town Square. Photo: Raymond Johnston.

Where to celebrate

Dec. 2–4

Come to Prague Zoo and see the Tasmanian devils, along with angels and sv. Mikuláš. The Bororo Reserve and Darwin Crater will have festive decorations and special programs on Dec. 2 and 3.

The small but dedicated cosplay group Krampusaci will show up at Wenceslas Square on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. and at I.P. Pavlova on Dec. 3 at 6 p.m., among other appearances.

Dozens of costumed devils from Czechia and Austria will be at Krampuslauf to scare children at Park Riegrovy sady on Dec. 3. Tickets should be purchased online, as availability at the gate will be limited.

A holiday steam train with Mikuláš and helpers leaves several times from the Praha-Smíchov station on Dec. 3 and 4. You should buy tickets online in advance. As part of the event, there are also rides on historic buses between Smíchovský nádraží and the Railway Kingdom (Království Železnic).

A family-oriented St. Nicholas Brunch & Beats will have holiday activities for kids and cookie decorating, followed by music on Dec. 4 at Manifesto Anděl.

Demons and circus performers will parade in the Great Devil's Expedition starting at KD Mlejn on Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Sv. Mikuláš and his friends will be on the metro A line on Dec. 4 between the Želivského and Dejvická stops from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. as well as at the MHD museum in Střešovice.

Dec. 5

In Prague, the traditional meeting place is Old Town Square. The holiday market has a family entertainment program from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and costumed people will circulate in the crowds.

The holiday market at the upper part of Wenceslas Square, near the National Museum, has a program from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  

The Christmas tree at Kampa will be lit at 5 p.m. with the aid of Mikuláš and his friends. There will be music and a fire show.

A few tickets are left for cruises with the Devil into Čertovka, the Devil's Stream, or around the Vltava. The boats embark from Křižovnické náměstí several times but tickets should be purchased in advance.

The new holiday light exhibit Lumina Park Praha has Mikuláš and friends from Dec. 5 to 8. The park is open from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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