Holiday fish soup to be served twice

The new mayor will be at Old Town Square a day earlier than usual

Every holiday season, the mayor of Prague served carp soup at the Old Town Square market. This year will be a little different than previous ones, as the new mayor, Zdeněk Hříb, will be handling the ladle a day early, on Sunday, Dec. 23, as he says politicians should be home with their families for the holidays.

The result is that carp soup will be served twice, as the traditional Christmas Eve day serving will also take place on Dec. 24, but led by the mayor of Prague 1.

Each day should see some 2,000 portions of soup served. At the request of the new mayor, a traditional holiday kuba, a sort of grain risotto, will also be served. The soup is not only for the needy but also tourists and local residents interested in stopping by the market. On both days the servings will begin at 11 am.

In the Czech Republic, Dec. 24 is an important day with a holiday meal and gifts in the evening.

“Generally, I think politicians should not be in the public space on Christmas Eve, and everyone should devote themselves to family on such a festive day. Besides, the Christmas lunch does not make sense, as this day is usually for fasting. We want to see the Golden Pig. Along with the soup there will be another traditional dish this year, a mushroom kuba. I will be very glad to welcome Praguers, and together we will meet and talk in this festive time with good food,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) said.

A part of Czech holiday tradition is fasting all day before the Christmas Eve meal in the hopes of seeing a magical golden pig in the sky. The idea is popular among children.

For those who want to follow the traditional timetable, Prague 1 Mayor Pavel Čižinský will serve the soup Dec. 24 on Old Town Square.

There will not be soup on either day at the Wenceslas Square market, due to the doubling of the service at Old Town Square.

The soup will be made according to the same recipe used in previous years, which calls for carp, cream, caramel and brandy among other ingredients.

The soup will be made from 1,500 kilograms of ingredients. Besides Czech carps, it includes 130 kilograms of carrots, celery and parsley; 40 kilograms of onion; 90 kilograms of flour; 65 kilograms of butter and 60 liters of cream. For flavor, there is cognac, caramel and fried croutons.

Entertainment programs will take place in the afternoons on both days at Old Town Square.

Market stalls will be open on Dec. 24 to 3 pm at the latest, and some food stands to 10 pm.

The markets at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square both run until Jan. 6.

Information on the markets including entertainment schedules are at www.trhypraha.cz and www.facebook.com/praguemarkets

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