Christmas In Czechoslovakia

Centuries ago, the western half of Czechoslovakia was known as Bohemia. This was the 10th century home of Good King Wenceslaus, the main character in the familiar English Christmas carol. It is said that English troops, fighting in Bohemia hundreds of years later, brought the song home with them.

In Czechoslovakia, St. Nicholas is called Svaty Mikalas and is believed to climb to earth down from heaven on a golden rope along with his companions: an angel and a whip-carrying devil.

An ancient tradition shared by Czechoslovakia and Poland involves cutting a branch from a cherry tree putting it in water indoors to bloom. If the bloom opens in time for Christmas it is considered good luck, and also a sign that the winter may be short. The hope of early spring helps keep spirits up during the long dark winter.

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