Survey: How do Czechs celebrate Christmas?

People gather by a Christmas tree illuminating the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
By Lucie Ctverakova
4 Min Read

The most popular holiday of the year is here in all its glory. Festive Christmas decorations can be seen at every step, carols and Christmas hits are playing on the radio, and children cannot wait to receive presents from Little Jesus.

Although it may seem that most Czechs experience Christmas time in the same way, according to a recent survey it is not that simple. What traditions resonate in households, and how do the Czechs’ experiences of Christmas differ?

According to the latest polling data, Czechs are still mostly conservative and prefer to enjoy the holidays traditionally. As many as 84 percent ​​of Czechs spend Christmas Eve at home, 12 percent go to relatives, and just 1 percent have dinner with friends.

When it comes to travel and unusual Christmas experiences, less than 1 percent of respondents said they celebrate the holiday season this way. So as for the place where Czechs like to be the most on Dec. 24 which is the main day of Christmas for Czechs it should come as no surprise that the majority prefer to be at home.

Equally unsurprisingly, Christmas for Czechs comes at some financial cost a table full of goodies, Christmas decorations and gifts don’t come cheap! Around 43 percent of respondents revealed they spend about 10,000 korunas (€398) during this holiday, although a third of Czechs manage to get everything for less than 5,000 korunas (€199).

It’s all about experiencing joy

Although it is pleasant to receive gifts, according to the survey, Czechs usually do not put much value on them. The most popular are creative gifts, followed by electronics, clothes and books. Scratchcards have also become somewhat of a tradition during Christmas. According to surveys, about 62 percent of respondents buy them to enjoy a moment of suspense with their loved ones.

Christmas dinner is a science

The everlasting debate during Christmas preparations is about whether to prepare carp, schnitzel, or both for the Christmas Eve dinner and according to the polling the results are very balanced. Traditional dinner, i.e., fish soup, carp, and potato salad, is a Christmas classic for 31 percent of Czechs, however 28 percent of respondents prefer chicken or pork schnitzels, while a third of respondents admitted that they prepare more variants, making various types of soups, fish, and schnitzels. On the other hand, there are, of course, exceptions. About 3 percent of Czechs prefer more modern recipes, such as salmon instead of carp.

Christmas carols are also naturally a tradition in December with 43 percent of households revealing they enjoy singing carols by the tree on Christmas Eve. The 57 percent majority however prefer to only listen to carols, leaving the singing for others.

Gift shopping

The commercial part of Christmas is undeniable in the weeks ahead of the holidays, but how do Czechs feel about this element of Christmas? The data shows It is not completely clear. Although 51 percent of respondents buy gifts for all their loved ones, 43 percent of adults only give each other small gifts for fun, opting instead to spend more on the children. Some groups however are stricter, with 4 percent of respondents choosing only to buy gifts for children.

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