During the afternoon of December 5 (San Nicolás Eva), the children are very excited and wait for San Nicolás (Svatý Mikuláš) to arrive.
It is usually accompanied by one or more angels and one or more demons. He asks the children if they have been good all year and also asks them to sing a song or recite a poem, and gives them a basket of gifts, which often contain chocolate and fruit. If you’ve been naughty, the devil could give you a piece of coal. As in the Netherlands and other European countries, St. Nicholas Day is a holiday very separate from Christmas.
In the Czech language Feliz / Feliz Navidad is ‘Veselé Vánoce’.
The main Christmas celebrations are on the eve of Christmas. Some people fast on Christmas Eve with the hope that they will see a vision of “the golden pig” appear on the wall before dinner! This is meant to be a sign of good luck!
The traditional Czech Christmas dinner is eaten during the Christmas Eve night. The food often consists of fish soup (made of carp) and fried carp with potato salad.
Ježíšek ‘Little Jesus’ (the Czech version of Christkindl) brings gifts during the Christmas Eve dinner and leaves them under the Christmas tree. Czech children dine differently from where the tree is located. When they hear the bell ringing (usually after the children have finished eating their main meal but when they are still at the table), that means that Ježíšek had been and had left his gifts under the tree. Gifts usually open right after dinner.
Religious families also often sing Christmas carols by the tree and go to church at midnight or Christmas day.
There is a superstition in the Czech Republic which says that if you throw a shoe over your shoulder on Christmas day, if your toe points towards the door, you will soon get married!