Culture of the Czech Republic
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Festivities and traditions
Czech people celebrate Christmas every year, beginning with a dinner on December 24. The table is set for exactly how many people are going to dine, but there is also a tradition, that you should set one more place, in case a stranger arrives. - this is why everyone must stand up at the same time. The traditional dinner usually includes a potato salad and a carp (fish), but many people replace it with a chicken or pork snitzel.
Easter, or "Velikonoce" (meaning "great nights"), is a very cheerful and lighthearted holiday in the Czech Republic. Red is a very commonly worn color during this time, because it symbolizes joy, health, happiness, and new life that comes with spring. Families decorate Easter eggs elaborately together. Another Easter tradition is the whipping of other's legs with the pomlázka, which is a willow switch. Willow twigs are braided together and then are used by young boys to whip the girls' bottom usually 4x. This long-standing tradition is thought to bring health and youth to girls and women. The switch is called pomlázka meaning "rejuvenator", implying that a female struck by a pomlázka will become younger and prettier.
1 January is holiday New Year. After a late morning start the main meal of the day is prepared which should include pork for good luck and lentils for prosperity in the new year. It’s bad luck to eat fish, your luck could swim away or poultry, your luck could fly away.
January 6 is the Feast of the Three Kings. In many Czech and Slovak villages, boys dress up as the three wise men “Kaspar, Balthazar and Melchior”. With a piece of chalk the boys write K + B + M (or K + M + B) above the doorways on houses, where people donate money for charity. This brings blessings on that home and its family for a year. The chalk letters should never be cleaned off, but only replaced the next year. This is also usually the day the Christmas tree is taken down.
A Czech diet usually consists of a lot of meat such as pork, beef, poultry, and a lot of organ meats like liver, kidneys. The meat is frequently prepared with gravy and then eaten with dumplings, cabbage or potatoes. Vegetables are consumed daily, like carrots, peas, and cabbage. They also really enjoy their sweets such as fruit dumplings, buchty (buns filled with jam or chocolate/pudding), koláče (small poppy seed cakes), and apple strudel.
Music is the most popular form of art in the Czech Republic and there is even a saying, "Co Čech, to muzikant", which means something like "Every Czech is a musician".
The Czech Republic is known worldwide for their outstanding art glass and crystal. Each piece is individually made, mouth blown and decorated. Art glass collectors value glass made by master Czech glass blowers in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. One of the best Czech painters and decorative artists was Alphonse Mucha, mainly known for his cycle of 20 large canvases named The Slav Epic, which depicts the history of Czechs and other Slavic peoples.
Most houses are constructed of cinder blocks or bricks and the rooms tend to be quite small.
- "Czech Slovak Heritage Tours Holiday and Traditions Page". Czechheritage.net. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
- "Crystal Collection - Hardscapes, Landscaper, & Nursery in Birmingham, AL". Crystalcollection.com. Retrieved 20 August 2017.