You all, most likely already have plans for the big end of the year party. Even though, the celebration varies all around the world – it is likely to contain at least a toast at midnight. Czechs are, of course, no different, and who knows us a little bit more, will not be surprise that quite a lot of beer and wine is in the game for the New Year’s Eve too. But put aside the drinking and find out with us what else Czechs do on the last and the first day of the New Year.

Silvestr = New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is called Silvestr in the Czech Republic and St. Silvestr has a Name Day on the last day of the year. You will not see many Czechs partying in the city center of Prague on Silvestr. More likely they will spend the evening on the mountains, or cottages, having a friends over at home, or pub crawling in their neighborhood. When partying at home, you will certainly find all different kind of chlebíčky (open sandwiches), or jednohubky (literally one mouth full – smaller open sandwiches). These sandwiches have all different topics on them – cheese, hams, spreads, olives, tomatoes, pickles etc. If you are in Prague go to Ovocný Světozor to taste the traditional chlebíčky, or to Sisters for more modern and healthy versions. Often people have their TV on and watch the Silvester entertainment program – singers, dancers and stand up comedians. When people celebrate Silvestr with kids, card and board games will be on the schedule. At midnight, we do not watch the falling ball like in the US, but we still count the last 10 seconds of the year and toast with Champagne. Smaller and bigger fireworks displays are present through out of the evening, but peak at midnight. Often people go to the nearest hill to watch the city lighting up in colors.

Please, be very very careful when you will be spending the evening in city center – especially Wenceslas and Old Town Square – not everyone is shooting firework safely.

Nový rok = New Year’s Day

On New Year’s we sleep in :) - often it is really needed. Regarding the extend of the celebration – New Year’s is a family holiday. Often you meet up with your family for a lunch, but do not expect anything fancy this time. We eat cook lentil, fried egg, slice of ham and pickles. Lentil should keep you healthy and rich the whole next year. It is also tradition in many families to watch a Russian fairy tale Mrazík – Jack Frost, which is always on TV. Many also go to watch the big city firework display and you can join them if you are in Prague. The  Prague firework will start at 6pm and will be launched from Vítkov Hill. It will take 10 minutes and will be accompanied by music, which you can list to at the Kiss 98 and CRo Regina. It will have 6 parts – six muses. The best places to watch the firework will be the Prague bridges, banks of the river, Petrin Hill, Letná Hill and Rieger Park.

Wherever you will be on these two exciting days – stay safe and have a lot of fun!

Happy New Year everyone!!!