Christmas Eve » 24 December 2013:
Christmas Eve is the most festive day of Christmas in the Czech Republic.
Most Czech people spend the day at home with their family, give presents to each other, and enjoy their main Christmas meal.
Merry Christmas to one and all - Veselé Vánoce!
Christmas Eve in Prague
Christmas Eve is the most festive day of Christmas in the Czech Republic. The Christmas markets are open, as are a small number of shops, bars and restaurants.
This is a wonderfully peaceful day to explore Prague. With relatively few people around, and the squares perhaps dusted with snow or a heavy frost, the city has an even greater 'olden day' charm.
Sightseeing tours and walking tours run mostly just in the morning on Christmas Eve - Sightseeing in Prague
|In the evening, restaurants have limited opening hours or close completely, so we strongly advise making an advance reservation - Christmas restaurants.|
In the afternoon and early evening there are lovely Christmas concerts to attend at some churches around the city - classical concerts
In the afternoon, some churches also hold a Christmas Mass at 16:00 for children.
An afternoon mass is held at Tyn Church at the Old Town Square at 16:30. Entrance is free, just turn up. Arrive early.
An open-air Christmas Mass is held on the stage at the Old Town Square at 21h00. Entrance is free, just turn up.
A Midnight Mass is held at Strahov Monastery and at other churches around Prague. Entrance is free, just turn up.
Czech Christmas Traditions
For a glimpse into a traditional Czech Christmas Eve, one has to naturally look at food and family life.
Czech's spend the afternoon of the 24th December at home with their families, dressing the Christmas tree and preparing food for the evening celebration.
Traditionally, on Christmas Eve Czechs are only allowed to eat sauerkraut soup during the day, in order to see the "golden piglet". This lasts until early evening, when Christmas dinner is served around 6pm.
Carp forms the central ingredient for a traditional Czech Christmas dinner. The fish is purchased live from sellers on the street, then cooked and served with potato salad.
Dinner can be a hectic affair, as parents devise ways to leave the table during the meal in order to place their children's presents under the newly dressed tree.
Children believe that presents are brought by Jezisek (little Jesus). As the family move to the Christmas tree after dinner, they are amazed to find Jezisek has visited, leaving presents without anyone noticing.
With a nicely dressed Christmas tree in the corner and the presents open, the evening is spent playing games, watching children's stories on TV and chatting. For adults there is of course a good supply of Czech beer, wines and spirits!
Later in the evening some families attend a Christmas midnight mass at their local church.
To book restaurants, sightseeing and entertainment in Prague on Christmas Eve: Prague Christmas Planner
Old Town Square:
30th Nov-05th Jan:
30th Nov-12th Jan:
30th Nov: 17-18h
Lighting of the Christmas tree at Old Town Square.
05th Dec: from 16h at Old Town Square.
07th Dec-31st Jan:
Behind Estates Theatre, Old Town.
16h - Christmas Mass for children at many churches.
16h30 - Christmas Mass at Tyn Church.
21h - Christmas Mass open-air at Old Town Square.
24h - Midnight Mass at Strahov Monastery and other churches.
What's open and when at Christmas.
|New Year's Eve|
31st Dec: Celebrations & midnight fireworks.