Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mikulas Day

After the movie, we grabbed a cup of warm medovina (or mead) and wandered through the Christmas Markets in Wencelas Square. The atmosphere was cheery and festive and the square was decorated with trees, lights, and nativities, but for a moment you might think it was Halloween- except all the costumes were the same.It was Mikulas Day in Prague - a holiday similar to Sinterklaas with a few notable differences. Mikulas, the Czech word for St. Nicholas, is celebrated on the eve of December 6th in many eastern European countries.

Teenagers, dressed as St. Nicholas, angels, and devils, travel in packs to young children and ask them if they have been bad or good this year. The good ones sing a song and are rewarded with small treats and candy from St. Nicholas and the angels. The bad ones, well they have a fate worse than Spain for year. According the Czech Republic tourism website, bad children are sacked by the devils and taken straight to hell for the year. I don't know about you, but I think as a child I would have rather stayed home and forgone the candy than wonder the streets and worry if I had not cleaned my room up enough and therefore was going to get sacked. Especially with teenagers making the decision - we all know what great judges of characters they are (insert story from your own adolescence here).

While observing the holiday activities, we enjoyed roasted chestnuts and trdlo - a sweet, roasted bread.

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