There we are, finally approaching the end of this challenging and sometimes disastrous, but hopefully still successful and joyous for everyone, year. Yes, 2020 was a little extraordinary than to what we are used to, but we are slowly approaching the end! 

In the Czech Republic, everyone enjoys Christmas time and New Year, because they are one of our most important celebrations every year. During Christmas time we reconnect and meet with our family and during the New Year’s we are celebrating and having fun with our friends. No wonder it’s the favourite time of the year!

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Unlike most of the countries, New Year is a working day for Czechs, the national holiday falls on the 1st of January. Though the opening hours of shops differ, this means that supermarkets are opened mostly until 12 PM.

In Czech, we usually do not say “New Year’s Celebration” but “Silvestr Celebration” instead. The reason behind why is it called Silvestr is that name Silvestr has a feast day on 31st of December which is celebrated by the Catholic Church.

(A little bit of background to the Czech Republic, everyone has their Feast Day that is celebrated. Feast Day Datum depends on your name position in the calendar. Yes, we celebrate birthdays and name days! To add on, Silvester is the English form of Silvestr)

Most of the Czechs are celebrating New Year with their friends, especially youths. Older people usually stay at home and watch Silvestr’s Party Shows on TV. The tradition is that these shows usually go from the oldest to the newest (let’s say first was made in 1996 and there it goes all the way to the 2020). Of course, playing all these shows would take more than one day, so the best and most entertaining shows that were made over the years are selected.

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Youths, on the other hand, gather with their friends and stay at somebody’s place. Some of them decide to go to a club, even though clubs seem full, most Czechs still prefer to be with their friends at someone’s place instead of a noisy club. It could be said that this is a matter of preference, but if you chose to go clubbing for New Year’s while spending it in Czech, you indeed wouldn’t be left alone and bored!

A proper celebration is not missing alcoholic drinks, of course, we believe we don’t have to explain this too much, but we should mention that Czechs typically love beer and wine the most and when midnight strikes we celebrate it with a glass of champagne! 

Next to the alcohol shouldn’t be here missing good food! Traditional New Year’s snacks are called Jednohubky and Chlebíčky

Jednohubky are similar to canapes, they typically consist of cut bread roll, pickles, garlic spread (usually self-made for some extra garlic taste) and meat sausage, all pricked on a toothpick.

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There are of course many other variations of jednohubky, depending on the preference. Some are only with cheese, some also have olives, salami, bacon, whatever the taste buds pleases and desires.

Second traditional food made on New Year’s are Chlebíčky, which are special small tasty sandwiches. Typically made with salad spread, cheese, egg, pepper, cucumber and salami. The spread can be made either out of eggs, or so-called Parisian salad.

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When it comes for fireworks, we gather either somewhere nearby the famous restaurant that does firework show every year, have our own light show in the streets, or we go uphill to see the lights of the whole city.

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Now, what happens on the day after all these huge celebrations? 1st of January is a national holiday and the majority of us is getting sober. The day is usually peaceful given the state of the previous night. However, the reason that after-celebration day is mentioned is that the typical main dish for this day is lentils or peas, which indicates abundance.

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