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, if a stranger showed up. The first person to leave the table when the meal is finished will be the first person to die that year - 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 twig. Willow twigs are braided and then are used by young boys to whip the girls' bottom gently. This long-standing tradition is thought to bring health and youth to girls and women.
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 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 and brains, also tongue. 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 "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 collector’s 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.
- Holidays in the Czech Republic, Flag days in the Czech Republic, Name days in the Czech Republic
- National anthem of the Czech Republic, Flag of the Czech Republic
- Heraldry of the Czech Republic
- Czech cuisine
- List of Czechs
- List of museums in the Czech Republic
- Youth in the Czech Republic