A procession of Three Kings - a re-enactment of the journey of the Three Wise Men to visit the infant Jesus - annually marks the end of the Christmas festivities in Prague. The event, which has an eleven year tradition, was the brainchild of a Spanish priest and missionary who came to Prague 13 years ago. Priest Alberto Geraldo aimed to bring a spiritual note to a holiday that has become increasingly consumer driven and, at the same time, to help the needy.
St. Stephen's Day - better known as 'Boxing Day' -- became known as such because that was when churches opened their alms boxes to hand out money to the poor, in the spirit of Christmas. In the Czech Republic, the day (in fact, the whole week) is one for feasting with family and settling down to watch 'pohadky' -- fairy tales -- on the telly. In that spirit, and as part of our holiday series, We now treat you to a look at some of the most beloved Czech fairytales on film.
Are you tired of baking the same Christmas cookies year after year? Do you have a sweet tooth and think it deserves a special treat at Christmas time? Jarka Halkova asked Martin Polacko, a young and up-and-coming chef, to come to your aid. He proposed apples and pears wrapped in pastry "purses" - a Christmas dessert that's delicious and very easy to bake. Here's the recipe:
Prices of the traditional Czech Christmas food carp have fallen, as the
fish faces competition from other foods such as salmon and poultry.
Carp prices are about 5 percent lower than last year, a spokesperson
for the biggest Czech carp producer, Rybarstvi Trebon, told the AFP
Many Czechs take live carp home and keep them in the bath, killing the fish themselves shortly before consumption on Christmas Eve.
Every year, almost a million Christmas trees are sold in the Czech Republic. Soon after the holidays people throw them away and the trees have to be disposed of as waste. For the sixth year running, environmentalists in Brno are offering people the chance to buy live Christmas trees which can be replanted outdoors after Christmas. Also, they've chosen one particular type of conifer, once plentiful in the Czech lands but now on the verge of extinction.
Just four days left to Christmas and no doubt many of you are still desperately running around the shops trying to do the last of your Christmas shopping. This year Czechs are borrowing more than ever to buy presents for their nearest and dearest - according to some figures Czechs will borrow some 415 billion crowns from banks alone.
Fried carp and potato salad is today the 'bread and butter' of any traditional Czech Christmas meal. But this was not always so. Pious Czechs once used to fast at Christmas; they then took to cooking meatless dishes, such as sweet porridge with dried fruits. Slowly, fish - and finally, carp -- became the most common fasting meal. In this week's Panorama, however, we go along to a tasting of Advent and Christmas dishes that predate - by centuries - the carp and potato salad tradition. Some recipes date back to the Middle Ages and are long forgotten;
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