Christmas in the Czech Republic is culturally rich, and it has some of the most unique traditions and customs in the Central Europe. Whether you want to explore the cities or the mountains, the Czechia is the place to be.

It is a perfect location to enjoy your Christmas vacation. Christmas in the country begins early, in the Advent period, which is celebrated four weeks before December 25th.

It is a perfect time for Czech people to build greater anticipation for Christmas. Perhaps the best place to enjoy Christmas in Czechia is in the rural parts of the country. 

Let’s check out all the Christmas traditions and customs that the Czech Republic has to offer!

Christmas Customs and Traditions in Czech Republic

Christmas in the Czech Republic is unique, and a myriad of beliefs and superstitions surround it. Many of the traditions and customs are often associated with local foods.

As the superstitions in the country indicate, you are going to learn something new every day. Some of the unique Christmas beliefs and superstitions include:

  • No lights are lit before the first star is seen in the sky.
  • Someone should always set the table in even numbers because it brings good luck. Any even number setting the table brings bad luck.
  • There should be an extra plate prepared in case there is a guest.
  • No one in the room should sit with their back to the door.
  • Christmas dinner should be made up of nine courses which include carp, potatoes, honey, soup, bread with honey, deserts, and other foods. No alcohol is to be served.
  • No one should get up from the Christmas table before dinner is complete as it is bad luck to leave.
  • Everybody at the dinner table should complete their dishes and leave nothing on their plate
  • All household animals in the house should be fed on Christmas Eve and Christmas so that no one in the house goes hungry.

P.S. If you are traveling around Europe in the holiday season, make sure to check out Christmas in the following countries:

St. Barbara’s Day

The December 4th is St. Barbara’s Day, and it is a day when the Czech women put cherry tree branches in the water vase. People believe that if the branch blossoms before Christmas Eve, then the women are going to find their lifetime partner in the next year.

There are many superstitions around Czechia and depending on the region that you visit, people will believe in different traditions.  Nowadays, many modern Czech families use cherry blossoms as decorations.  

Advent wreath

Advent wreath is an important part of the Christmas traditions in the Czech Republic.

This is an important part of the Christmas holiday and it comes in different versions depending on the region of Czechia. People buy the wreath at a flower shop, order it, or make it at home.

The wreath usually has four candles. The candles are symbolic in nature. They symbolize love, friendship, peace, and hope. The candles are lit on successive Sundays before Christmas. 

The symbol of the candle will depend on the color. The traditional colors are purple and pink. Families usually customize the candles according to taste and preference.

St. Nicholas’ Day

St. Nicholas Day is one of the most common days that people enjoy in anticipation for Christmas in Czech Republic. 

Mikuláš is the day that precedes St. Nicholas’ Day. On this day, a person with a costume of St. Nicholas passes around the country and is accompanied by an angel and the devil. They usually pass out to treat those with good behavior and bad behavior.

Bad behavior is often treated with coal while good behavior is treated with potatoes. This manifestation is particularly interesting in the Old Town of Prague.

In some places, children recite Christmas poems or sing Christmas carols on this day. The children additionally hang stockings for St. Nicholas to fill them with presents. Parents will usually leave candy, sweets, and even potatoes for the kids to enjoy when they find it in the morning.

Christmas Eve in the Czech Republic

Christmas Eve is a perfect day to put the Czech traditions in practice.  This is the most important day for the Czech people, as they put high emphasis on it.

First up–the Christmas Eve dinner! Czech people don’t serve the dinner until they can see the first star in the sky.  The dinner is usually served in large amounts and there are special dishes that are traditional and only cooked during the holiday period.

The Christmas cap will take center stage and it is often preceded by a pea or fish soup. Other dishes that you can find in the region include sausages and mashed potatoes, pork schnitzel, and potato salad. 

Christmas Day in Czech Republic

A traditional bread, vánočka; is cooked during Christmas in Czech Republic. The bread is braided to look like swaddled baby Jesus and it is given a texture by adding almonds and raisins.  The bread has a shiny glaze and is sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Strudel is another popular dish cooked in different parts of the Czech Republic. People often serve Christmas cookies during this period.

In the modern era, Christmas dinners are fairly modern and depending on the region, they may consist of garlic, honey, dried mushrooms, and dried fruits. 

Czech people do the lunchtime feast in two days. In most cases, the lunch in different areas is often composed of duck, and roast goose which is then accompanied by cabbage and dumplings and is served this way through the celebrations.

Christmas carp in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is an iconic destination for Christmas, and it is interesting to know that they absolutely love fish. Christmas carp is famous in Czechia as they are the biggest exporter of carp.

The fish has been cultivated in the country for years since the medieval times.  Carp is part of the tradition for the Czech people. The locals usually buy live carp and keep them in water days before Christmas.

It is kept alive during this period, and on the Christmas Eve, it is prepared. The fish is often breaded and fried, and served with other side dishes.

Santa Claus

Perhaps one of the most fundamental figures in the Czech Christmas tradition is Santa Claus. While they have St. Nicholas, Santa has become a common figure. Santa dresses in red and white with his ledge and children believe that he brings presents to the family.  

Nativity scenes in Czech Republic

Nativity scenes are some of the most iconic Christmas features that you can encounter in the Czech Republic.

People set up figurines which date back centuries ago. The nativity scenes are a representation of the manger in Bethlehem. They have become an important part of the Christmas festivities in the Czech Republic. Churches and city centers across the Czech Republic are full of these nativity scenes.

The industry has developed over the years and with figurines made of different features, including every imaginable material such as picket fences among others. Visit the Museum of Nativity Scene in Třebechovice where you can see the antique and modern features of the nativity scenes.

Christmas food, plants, and their meanings for Czech people


Garlic is an important part of the Christmas tradition in Czechia. People believe it to bring protection and strength. In most homes, you will find a bowl of garlic under the table.


Honey plays a critical role in the Czech Christmas tradition, as people believe that it guards people against evil. Many households put a pot of honey on the dinner table.


Mushrooms are part of the Christmas dinner and tradition in the Czech Republic. They are known to give strength and health, therefore you will never miss them at the Christmas table.

There is a traditional meal called Kuba, often prepared from spices, onions, garlic, barley, and mushrooms. Czechs serve it as part of the main meal and even as a soup before dinner.

Bundle of grain

A sheaf of grain that is dipped in holy water is used to sprinkle around the house to prevent it from burning down the next year.

Barley, peas, and wheat

If these grains are given to poultry, then the house will have more eggs and more poultry in the coming year.


This is the Christmas bread and the center of Christmas dishes in the Czech Republic. During your visit, you will find many people consuming it. They will put it in front of the beehive and coat it with honey. It is believed that the bees will produce more honey in the coming year that way.

Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.