Mikuláš (Saint Nicholas's Eve)
For children, the evening of December 5 is one of the most exciting in the Czech calendar
For children, the evening before St. Nicholas's Day is one of the most exciting in the Czech calendar, when, depending on how they've behaved during the year, they could be rewarded with candy or -- theoretically, at least -- carried off to hell.
For adults, on the other hand, it's an excuse to dress up in costumes, have some fun and possibly earn some money by hiring yourself out to the parents of young kids.
St. Nicholas, whose appearance supposedly inspired Santa Claus's, first asks the children to recite a poem or sing a song. He then asks them whether they've been good or bad.
Good kids are rewarded with candy or other treats, courtesy of the Angel, but bad kids might end up in the Devil's sack or, at the very least, get only a sack of potatoes or coal.
If St. Nicholas isn't around, children can hang a stocking from their window, which he'll fill before dusk. Children also receive St. Nicholas presents from parents and relatives.
Mikuláš is particularly good fun in Prague, where parents traditionally bring their children to Old Town Square between 5pm and 8pm.
In small towns and villages, St. Nicholas, the angel and the devil typically children at home.
This unusual ritual probably originated in medieval schools, where examiners often had two assistants, one of whom was responsible for punishing children and the other responsible for rewarding them.
This custom seems to have become linked to legends about St. Nicholas, who is said to have helped children in times of emergency by secretly passing them money, either through windows or down chimneys.
In the Czech Republic, around 120 churches have been dedicated to the child-loving saint, the most famous of them probably being the Baroque Kostel sv. Mikuláše (Church of St. Nicholas) in Prague's Malá Strana district.
Video on YouTube
Signal Festival 2016 will light up Prague by
The festival of light art is the biggest cultural event in the country
State Opera productions are now at Karlín by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Narodni Divadlo)
A long-planned renovation has pushed the program to a new home
Taking Shakespeare to the streets of Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
One of the Bard's most obscure plays will be performed as a walking tour
4+4 Days in Motion will explore another disused building by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The annual performance and art festival will be centered near Old Town Square
Stanislav Libenský Award entrants on display at DOX by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: DOX - Natsuki Katsukawa, Japan)
Contemporary glass art from over 30 young international artists is showcased
Red Bull Flying Bach blends classical and hip-hop by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Break dance is performed to Bach is a show seem by 400,000 people worldwide
Všichni svatí (All Saints) by Nová Galerie - Prague.TV
or the legacy of Charles IV's ideas for contemporary art and culture
Free opera at Divoká Šárka by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: wikipedia)
Smetana's Two Widows will play one show at the outdoor theater
5 Unique Museums in the Czech Republic by Olena Kagui - Prague.TV (Foto: kovozoo.cz)
Explore some unique museums the Czech Republic has to offer
Theater festival Divadlo to take place in Plzeň by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Troupes from the CEE region will show new productions
Have fun. Help. Volunteer overseas - Let us organize your...
Petra Měchurová Hair Salon right in the historical center...
Fresh new Californian influenced Cuisine made in Prague!
Feel the rhythm and party to the biggest hits of the 80’s!
Trabant Museum @ STK Motol
Armádní muzeum Žižkov
Národní památník hrdinů heydrichiády
Goout.cz Tickets for Cultural Events in Prague