Enjoy the atmosphere of a Czech Christmas
Prague, September 2012 Visit the Czech Republic at Christmas and enjoy the unique atmosphere of advent. Try some hot wine or mead while observing the craftsmen at work demonstrating their traditional crafts and trades. There is so much more to see outside the Czech capital with Christmas markets taking place in many smaller Czech towns or in the courtyards of numerous castles all over the country. You can see nativity scenes and live performances. Christmas concerts at cathedrals or in one of the country’s beautiful concert halls are an unforgettable experience.
Many Christmas markets take place in the Czech Republic during advent. Some of them start at the end of November and carry on until the beginning of January. The Czechs celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, i.e. December 24. The festive meal is served that day and consists of fish soup then fried carp accompanied by traditional potato salad. Christmas carp is one of the symbols of the Czech Christmas. That is why you can spot large tubs full of fish in the streets of many Czech towns during advent.
After the festive meal the whole family turns to the decorated Christmas tree where there are presents left behind by Baby Jesus in the Czech Christmas tradition. At midnight many churches put on a special midnight mass. Delicious Christmas cookies are an important part of the Czech Christmas. Among the favourites are vanilla rolls, vanocka – Christmas buns with almonds, butter cookies with jam or beautifully decorated gingerbread.
If you happen to visit Prague during advent, make sure you take a walk through the Old Town Square where the largest Christmas market takes place. There is also a market in Wenceslas Square where you can enjoy your shopping from November 27, 2012 until January 5, 2013. Live performances take place on the main stage and the children´s choirs singing Christmas carols are particularly memorable. Make sure you taste hot mead, an alcoholic drink made of honey. The stalls which sell mead usually also offer a great range of bee products including honey and wax candles. If you are looking for a gift for younger relatives, the traditional Czech wooden toys on sale will delight them.
For shopping sprees go to the Palladium Shopping Mall at Namesti Republiky. The Christmas market held here has also plenty to offer. Warm up with a glass of hot wine, enjoy “trdelnik” – a special sweet pastry made of rising dough and covered in sugar and almonds. Don´t forget to take a proper look at the art-nouveau Municipal House (Obecni dum) and if you fancy a little exercise climb the Powder Tower (Prasna brana) to enjoy a wonderful view of Prague at Christmas.
Enjoy Christmas Concerts
Your Christmas itinerary should include at least one classical music concert. The ornate halls of the Rudolfinum Concert Hall or the Municipal House create the perfect Christmas atmosphere. Classical music will also be heard in many of the churches in Prague city centre including the St Simon´s and Jude´s Church (Kostel sv. Simona a Judy) or St Nicholas’ Church (Kostel sv. Mikulase) in Old Town Square.
Prague is unforgettable when covered in snow. If you take the steps leading from the Charles Bridge to Kampa, you will discover romantic corners lit by beautiful old fashioned street lamps. Inside the churches you will be able to admire various nativity scenes. The nativity scenes are constructed to the smallest detail and will fascinate children and adults alike.
Experience a Czech Christmas outside of Prague
You will be able to experience a traditional Czech Christmas at Zelny Market in Brno as well. The local Christmas celebrations will be inspired by Josef Lada´s paintings which have always been one of the symbols of the Czech Christmas. There will be an entertaining programme for adults and children and the market stalls will offer a range of attractive products. The Christmas market will be open from November 26 until December 23, 2012.
Cesky Krumlov is known as a fairy tale town throughout the year. But it is during advent that it becomes even more special. The local Christmas market which is held every weekend from Friday to Sunday starts on November 30 and runs until January 6. Among the highlights of the programme for children are the living nativity scene, St Nicholas or Christmas with the castle bears.
The Krivoklat Castle also offers an interesting programme on the weekends of December 8, and 9 and 15 and 16. You will see dance and theatre performances at the traditional Christmas market and you will be able to buy gifts and souvenirs. To keep the chill away there will be plenty of hot mead and wine available. The children can enjoy a steam train ride which runs to Krivoklat from Prague and Plzen.
For more information please contact:
Press Department Manager
ČCCR - CzechTourism
tel.: +420 221 580 485