Mikulas (St. Nicholas) Day in Prague » 05 December 2016
Mikulas, St. Nicholas' day, is on the 5th December and marks the start of Christmas for Czech people. For visitors to Prague wishing to experience the spectacle of Mikulas, head for the Old Town Square from late afternoon - Mikulas photos.
Mikulas (St. Nicholas) Day
Late afternoon on the 5th December three figures move slowly around the Old Town Square: St. Nicholas, an Angel and the Devil. Surrounding them are a throng of small children, gazing in awe at the characters, as their parents look on with masked grins.
Glance around you and there are many such groupings, spread throughout the square, around the Christmas markets stalls. For today is Mikulas.
Czech children, raised on stories of Mikulas, are over-awed by this spectacle, for they know what to expect. St. Nicholas will be asking each and everyone of them if they have been a good child during the past year.
Most children of course say yes and will be asked to sing a song or recite a short poem, after which they are rewarded with sweets and other treats. But if St. Nicholas suspects they have been naughty, well!
Naughty children don't get sweets, they get a sack of
black coal or hard potatoes. If they have been really naughty, they will be placed in the Devil's sack and sent to
With this thought in mind, small children are understandably terrified of the Devil. So when St. Nicholas and his entourage approach them, they sing their song or recite their poem with great gusto. Needless to say, Mikulas acts as a strong incentive to be good throughout the year!
At the time of Mikulas, the Prague Christmas markets
are in full swing in the Old Town Square. Tourists can browse the market stalls and enjoy the hot food & drink on offer at the wooden huts whilst observing this wonderful
Czech tradition - Prague Christmas markets
*03rd Dec-04th Jan:
Old Town Square & Wenceslas Square.
from 16:00 at Old Town Square.
05th Dec-31st Jan:
Ovocny trh (behind Estates Theatre), Old Town.
16:00 Christmas Mass for children at some churches.
16:30 Christmas Mass at Tyn Church.
21:00 Open-air Christmas Mass at Old Town Square.
24:00 Midnight Mass at some churches, including Strahov Monastery.
What's open and when at Christmas.
|New Year's Eve
31st Dec: Celebrations & midnight fireworks.
*The markets will definitely be open on these dates. They will likely start one week earlier, but the authorities will not make their decision on this until the summer. This page will be updated once we receive official notification.