For several years it has been our privilege to spend a few days at Christmas with our dear friend Mirka. We have developed several Christmas traditions, most of which are common to Czechs. This year we visited a small exposition of nativity scenes in a nearby village. The creativity and variety of these Betlémy were amazing. Czechs are unusually gifted artists and that is very evident in these beautiful little works.
The traditional Christmas Eve dinner in The Czech Republic is fried carp, carp soup, and potato salad. To do things properly, one must purchase live carp and allow them to swim in one’s bathtub for a day or two. Nearby, you can see our dinner floating in the tub.
Another favorite tradition of ours is watching Czech fairy tales. On Christmas Eve the Czech television stations play one after another non-stop. These movies are lavish productions starring excellent Czech actors in gorgeous costumes, set in the most beautiful castles in the country. Popelka (Cinderella) is the most popular of all these productions. Here is a link to a You Tube video which highlights some of the more famous scenes from the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd0K_PA3iH0 . To see Popelka at the ball, dancing with the prince, skip to about 4:00 in the video. She tries on her slipper at about 7:40.