Am I the only one who is having a hard time getting into the Christmas groove this year? Maybe it’s the warmer temps or the fact that none of the houses in my neighborhood (including mine) are showing any signs of festivity as of yet.
Since I’m not finding the necessary Christmas inspiration here at home, I thought it would be nice to see what the rest of the world is doing for the holidays! Let’s go global — starting with the Czech Republic!
The Czech Republic is full of rich Christmas traditions, including the festive markets held in the country’s picturesque squares. The markets are filled with stalls selling homemade trinkets, jewelry, and ornaments, but most flock to the stands offering food and drink like honeyed gingerbread, vánocvka (a braided pastry studded with raisins), grog and mulled wine. During the week before Christmas, the streets leading to the markets are lined with tubs full of water and live carp, the star ingredient in traditional Czech Christmas dishes. December 24, called the “Generous Day,” is when most Czech families gather together for the big Christmas dinner of fish soup and fried carp. Cookies are served afterward while the presents, which tradition says are gifts from the baby Jesus (not Santa Claus), are opened. Many families then attend midnight church services to celebrate Christmas Eve. Sounds like a lovely tradition!