If you're in Europe for Christmas, be sure to make a beeline to Czech Republic and Prague.
The Christmas mood gets underway at the beginning of Advent, the four-week period before Christmas Day on December 25, during which the city is beautifully adorned with holiday decorations.
In many places around the city, Christmas trees are lit – a typical symbol of the holiday season, with the most famous and largest being on Old Town Square, where you can also find the largest Christmas market in the city.
What you can expect is big tanks with live carp swimming in them to appear on the city streets around December 20; and the sweet baking smell as Czech households bake many different kinds of Christmas cookies, braided buttery Christmas vanocka (a kind of sweet bread), and fragrant apple strudel.
On Christmas Eve, December 24, the whole family eats a special holiday meal together.
The menu traditionally includes fish or pea soup, fried carp with potato salad, and Christmas cookies for dessert. After dinner, a bell rings to announce that Baby Jesus has brought the presents, and the family gathers around the festively lit Christmas tree to sing carols and open gifts.
Christmas in Prague means plenty of concerts, exhibitions and other cultural events.
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