Whether or not you’re celebrating Christmas, you likely have friends or family that do. And in much of the world, people get some time off around Christmas Day. So Happy Christmas or Happy Holidays, whatever applies to you!
This Christmas, I’m spending the holiday in Prague. There is no snow in sight, with a balmy high of 6 and low of 3 degrees Celsius. We do have some rain in the forecast for today but yesterday was beautiful and sunny.
Since I moved to Prague, people always talked about pink snow. As the story goes, the snow would get pink each Christmas. In the Czech Republic, people traditionally have Christmas dinner on Dec. 24, and carp is the popular seafood option. Although most people in the Czech Republic are atheist, there is a religious tradition and carp is likely eaten to avoid eating meat during the advent fast. Catholics accept fish as a fasting food and Dec. 24 is the last day of advent.
After 6 years living in Prague, I’ve spent a few winters here and I’ve never seen pink snow. I have seen tubs of carp for sale around the neighborhood during the weeks leading up to Christmas. In the past, it was popular to purchase the carp and keep it in the bathtub a few days to be able to prepare in fresh. Carp is locally farmed in Czech Republic so it’s widely available. Before I lived here, my main experience with carp were feeding them at Upper Canada Village when I went there for summer picnics with my family.
I was never interested in eating carp. In fact, I didn’t really think of them as food. But given how popular it is here, I tried it once out of curiosity. I have some Christian friends visiting so we will have Christmas dinner, but we will not be having carp. Instead, our menu will consist of spatchcock chicken (for them) and salmon (for me), along with some delicious roasted root vegetables, a green salad, and apple crisp.
If you’re curious about carp in bathtubs, you can see hundreds of posts on Instagram like this one: