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Archive for the 'Czech Holidays' Category

The Czech Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day

On the Czech Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day, the Czech Republic commemorates two of the most important events in its recent history, both of which helped to set in motion the end of communist rule. This is something that many Czechs, particularly students, fought for; some lost their lives, and many faced arrest, to help the country gain its freedom and democracy. Thus, this has become one of the most important holidays in the Czech Republic today.

In this article, you’ll learn about the history surrounding this holiday, how Czechs observe it today, and what it means to them. At CzechClass101.com, we aim to make every aspect of your language-learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day?

The Day of Struggle for Freedom and Democracy is connected with two events:

The latter of these events marked the beginning of the so-called Velvet Revolution and started the downfall of socialism in Czechoslovakia.

1- The History

On 17th November, 1989, students held a protest in Czechoslovakia in opposition to the Communist Party. Riot police stepped in and responded violently to what began as a peaceful protest.

Following this, students and actors united and agreed to go on strike. Non-violent protests continued for several days after this. Since the media was controlled by the Communist government, protestors spread the word by posting homemade signs in public places.

On November 24, 1989, all of the top leaders of the Communist Party resigned, including party chairman Milos Jakes. The revolution ended on December 29, 1989, and Czechoslovakia became a parliamentary republic, ending forty-one years of Communist rule.

The revolution succeeded so quickly—in just a few weeks—that supporters of the revolution had to step in to take control of the government and run things. On December 29, Vaclav Havel was elected the first president of the republic.

Due to the huge role students played in this revolution, this is also celebrated as International Students’ Day.

2. When is Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day?

A Wreath

Each year, the Czech people observe Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day on 17th November.

3. Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day Events

People Going on Strike

The atmosphere of the holiday matches the gravity of the historical events being commemorated. Celebrations most often have the character of official memorials. On Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day, Prague’s National Avenue holds special memorials, as do other locations where events related to the holiday took place. The National Avenue is where the 1989 intervention of security forces against students occurred.

People also light candles and lay wreaths at locations associated with the tragic events of 1939. Close to Wenceslas Square, where the demonstrators were shot, and in the former Ruzyne barracks, where the leaders of the student revolt were executed. Nazi repression resulted in the executions of student leaders, the arrests of hundreds of other students, internment in the concentration camps, and the closing of Czech universities.

The celebrations also include social events that are organized by state officials for public figures and broadcast by the media. Those also present viewers and listeners with personal memories of the demonstrators mainly from the 1989 period, and they voice opinions on the transformation of Czech society since 1989.

And, of course, considering the political nature of Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day, Czech Republic citizens often organize political demonstrations on an array of topics.

4. Who was Václav Havel?

Václav Havel was the last Czechoslovak president and the first president of the Czech Republic, from 1989 to 2003. Havel was also a dramatic, essayist, and poet. He wrote more than twenty plays and novels, and some of them were internationally translated.

In 2005, he was ranked fourth in the TOP 100 of leading intellectuals, according to Prospect Magazine. He also received a Medal of Freedom from the U.S. President, as well as Mahatma Gandhi’s Peace Award.

Further, Havel served as director of the Human Rights Foundation in New York, where he lived until his death in 2011.

5. Essential Vocabulary for this Czech Holiday

A Student

Here’s some Czech vocabulary you need to know for International Students’ Day/Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day!

  • Klíč — “Key”
  • Student — “Student
  • Policista — “Policeman”
  • Den boje za svobodu a demokracii — “Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day”
  • Stávka — “Strike”
  • Svoboda — “Freedom”
  • Demokracie — “Democracy”
  • Komunismus — “Communism”
  • Václavské náměstí — “Wenceslas Square”
  • Zvonit klíčemi — “Jingle with keys”
  • Bít — “Beat”

To hear each of the vocabulary words pronounced, and read them alongside a relevant image, be sure to check out our Czech Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day is a holiday of great importance in the Czech Republic, and the events behind it hold massive weight. We hope you learned something interesting today, and that you gained something valuable from this lesson.

Does your country have a similar holiday? If so, how do you celebrate or commemorate it? Tell us about it in the comments; we look forward to hearing from you!

Learning about a country’s culture is one of the most fascinating and enriching aspects of trying to master its language. If more Czech Republic cultural information is what you’re after, we think you’ll enjoy the following pages on CzechClass101.com:

CzechClass101.com also has numerous other learning tools in store for you. All you have to do is take a couple of minutes to create your free lifetime account today!

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Czech Holidays: The Day of Burning Jan Hus

Who was Jan Hus, and why do the Czech people have a holiday in commemoration of his burning? Czech martyr Jan Hus burned at the stake in 1415 for his beliefs and teachings, which spurred rebellion against foreign intervention.

In learning about Jan Hus beliefs, as well as this Czech reformer’s life and legacy, you’re opening the floodgates to Czech cultural knowledge! And as any successful language-learner can tell you, knowing a country’s culture is essential in mastering its language.

At CzechClass101.com, we hope to make your learning journey both fun and informative, starting now with the Czech martyr Jan Hus.

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1. What is the Day of Burning Jan Hus?

On July 6, 1415, a prominent Czech reformer and scholar named Jan Hus was burned at the stake for his opinions at the Church Council in Constance. His death sparked a rebellion in Bohemia and the Hussite wars against opponents of his doctrine, and against foreign intervention.

Although Jan Hus was the reformer of the Czech language, his last words, addressed to an ordinary woman who brought a log to his stake, were said in Latin: Sancta simplicitas! meaning “Holy simplicity!”

2. When is Jan Hus Day?

Depiction of a Martyr

The Czech Republic observes the Day of Burning Jan Hus each year on July 6.

3. Reading Practice: Jan Hus Day Traditions

A Priest

How do the Czech people commemorate the burning of Jan Hus? Read the Czech text below to find out! You can find the English translation directly below it.

  • Svátek, budící i po staletích politické i teologické vášně, byl ustanoven po vzniku Československa v roce 1918. Oslavy mají spíše oficiální ráz, na vzpomínkových akcích vystupují veřejné osobnosti a politikové. Součástí oslav bývají slavnostní ceremonie, pořádané především Československou církví husitskou, která se plně hlásí k Husovým teologickým názorům.

    Slavit svátek Jana Husa je možné i učením češtiny, neboť je třeba mít na paměti, že Jan Hus byl také jazykovědcem a výzamně ovlivnil podobu českého jazyka. Jeho největší přínos spočívá v tom, že zjednodušil psaní zavedením háčků a čárek a také položil základy spisovné češtiny.

  • The feast, which inflames political and theological passions even centuries later, was established after the founding of Czechoslovakia in 1918. The celebrations tend to have a more official character and public figures and politicians appear at the commemorative events. Part of the celebrations are festive ceremonies organized especially by the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, which is fully committed to the Hus theological views.

    You can also celebrate the feast of Jan Hus by learning Czech, since it is important to remember that Jan Hus was also a linguist and considerably influenced the shape of the Czech language. His greatest contribution lies in the simplification of writing by introducing accents, and he also laid the foundations of literary Czech language.

    4. Where Did Jan Hus Preach?

    What chapel did Jan Hus preach in during his life?

    It’s called Bethlehem Chapel and it still stands in Prague’s New Town, managed by the Czechoslovak Hussite Church. During his lifetime, Hus, who was then-rector of Prague University, preached and criticized social and religious ills in this place.

    Every year on Hus Day, a festive church service takes place here, honoring his memory.

    Another place often associated with Jan Hus is Charles University (Prague), where Hus was a dean.

    5. Vocabulary You Should Know for Jan Hus Day

    Woman with Chalk Drawing of Light Bulb Above head

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for the Day of Burning Jan Hus!

    • Smrt — Death
    • Den upálení mistra Jana Husa — Jan Hus Day
    • Kněz — Priest
    • Křížová výprava — Crusade
    • Karlova univerzita — Charles University
    • Upálení — Burning
    • Kazatel — Preacher
    • Mučedník — Martyr
    • Myšlenka — Idea
    • Kacíř — Heretic
    • Reforma — Reformation
    • Rektor — Rector

    To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Jan Hus Day vocabulary list.

    Conclusion

    We hope you enjoyed learning about Jan Hus Day Prague traditions with us, and that you took away something valuable from this lesson! The legacy of Jan Hus is truly a significant aspect of Czech culture even today.

    To continue learning about Czech culture and the language, visit us at CzechClass101.com! We provide an array of fun and practical learning tools for every learner, including free Czech vocabulary lists and more insightful blog posts like this one. You can also upgrade to Premium Plus to begin learning with your own personal teacher through our MyTeacher program!

    Wherever you decide to start, and no matter where you are in your language-learning journey, know that your hard work will pay off! And CzechClass101.com will be here with you every step of the way.

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    How to Say Happy New Year in Czech & New Year Wishes

    Learn all the Czech New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join CzechClass101 for a special Czech New Year celebration!

    How to Say Happy New Year in Czech

    Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

    So, how do you say Happy New Year in Czech? Let a native teach you! At CzechClass101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Czech New Year wishes!

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    Table of Contents

    1. How to Celebrate New Year in Czech Republic
    2. Must-Know Czech Words & Phrases for the New Year!
    3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Czech
    4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
    5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
    6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
    7. How CzechClass101 Can Help You Learn Czech

    But let’s start with some vocabulary for Czech New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

    1. How to Celebrate New Year in Czech Republic

    Just like in all European countries, the New Year in the Czech Republic is among the most eventful celebrations of the year. It is also called Silvester, after St. Silvester, whose feast is on the last day of the year, December 31.

    Do you know what a New Year’s resolution is and why Czechs keep making them?

    If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep reading!

    New Year celebrations begin in the afternoon or evening of the previous day, on New Year’s Eve. While it can also be celebrated with the family, typical celebrations include a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. A good tradition is for people to gather in the squares of towns and villages before midnight, with everybody counting down the last seconds of the old year and celebrating the arrival of the new one with the thunderous opening of champagne bottles and the setting off of rockets, firecrackers, and fireworks.

    The celebrations are inseparable from heavy alcohol consumption, which significantly contributes to the exuberant atmosphere. There is also food; typically there are all kinds of sandwiches, canapes, and other delicatessen products. The sipping is crowned by the New Year’s toast at midnight when the old year ends and the new year begins. At that moment, people wish each other a Happy New Year and send out emails and SMS greetings. New Year’s celebrations usually last until the morning hours.

    A: stop smoking, start working out, and lose weight. Not everyone can stick with it. However, it ==does not matter. There is another new year coming and with it another opportunity for a resolution.

    The main motto of the New Year’s day is saying, as on New Year, so throughout the rest of the year, meaning that the way we will spend the first day of the new year will be the way we spend the entire year.

    And now, the answer to the earlier question.

    Do you know what a New Year’s resolution is and why Czechs keep making them?

    The New Year’s resolution is the promise that the Czechs usually make on New Year’s day. It’s a commitment to do something positive in your life.

    Happy New Year!

    Šťastný Nový Rok!

    2. Must-Know Czech Words & Phrases for the New Year!

    Czech Words & Phrases for the New Year

    1- Year

    rok

    This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Czech Republic could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

    2- Midnight

    půlnoc

    The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

    3- New Year’s Day

    Nový Rok

    In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

    You can do it!

    4- Party

    párty

    A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

    5- Dancing

    tanec

    Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

    6- Champagne

    šampaňské

    Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

    7- Fireworks

    ohňostroj

    These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

    Happy Near Year!

    8- Countdown

    odpočítávání

    This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

    9- New Year’s Holiday

    Novoroční dovolená

    In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

    10- Confetti

    konfeta

    In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

    11- New Year’s Eve

    Silvestr

    This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

    12- Toast

    přípitek

    A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

    13- Resolution

    předsevzetí

    Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

    14- Parade

    průvod

    New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At CzechClass101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Czech New Year celebrations are like!

    3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

    New Year’s Resolutions List

    So, you learned the Czech word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at CzechClass101 - what are yours?

    Learn these phrases and impress your Czech friends with your vocabulary.

    New Year's Resolutions

    1- Read more

    Přečtěte si více.

    Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Czech in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Czech language skills!

    2- Spend more time with family

    Trávit více času s rodinou.

    Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

    3- Lose weight

    Zhubnou

    Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

    4- Save money

    Šetřete peníze.

    Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to CzechClass101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

    5- Quit smoking

    Přestat kouřit.

    This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

    6- Learn something new

    Naučit se něco nového.

    Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

    7- Drink less

    Pijte méně.

    This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

    8- Exercise regularly

    Pravidelně cvičit.

    This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

    9- Eat healthy

    Jíst zdravě.

    If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

    10- Study Czech with CzechClass101

    studovat češtinu s CzechClass101.com

    Of course! You can only benefit from learning Czech, especially with us! Learning how to speak Czech can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. CzechClass101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

    4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

    Inspirational Quotes

    Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

    Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Czech new year greeting!

    Make decorative notes of these in Czech, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Czech incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

    5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

    Language Learning Quotes

    Still undecided whether you should enroll with CzechClass101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

    Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

    As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Czech could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Czech - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

    6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

    Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Czech - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

    7. Why Enrolling with CzechClass101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

    If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Czech! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that CzechClass101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

    Learning Paths

    • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Czech at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
    • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Czech that makes sense!
    • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
    • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
    • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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    There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Czech with CzechClass101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

    How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Czech

    How to Say Merry Christmas in Czech

    Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Czech? CzechClass101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Czech Christmas phrases!

    Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Czech speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, CzechClass101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Czech!

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    Table of Contents

    1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Czech Republic
    2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
    3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
    4. Twelve Days of Christmas
    5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
    6. How CzechClass101 Can Help You

    1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Czech Republic

    Christmas Words in Czech

    There are many interesting customs and superstitions associated with Christmas
    in the Czech Republic. No one is to turn on any lights in the house on Christmas Eve until the first star appears in the sky. The dinner table must be set for an even number of places, because an odd number is believed to bring bad luck. Dinner consists of nine courses, but no alcohol may be served. Everyone must completely clear their plate of food, and no one may get up from the table before the meal is finished. Doing so is believed to bring bad luck. Everyone must get up from the table at the same time because it is believed that the first person to stand up from the table will be the first to die in the New Year.

    2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

    Holiday Greetings and Wishes

    1- Merry Christmas!

    Veselé Vánoce!

    Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Czech? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

    2- Happy Kwanzaa!

    Šťastné Kwanzaa!

    Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

    3- Have a happy New Year!

    Šťastný Nový Rok!

    In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

    4- Happy Hanukkah!

    Šťastnou Chanuku!

    Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

    5- Have a great winter vacation!

    Pěknou dovolenou!

    This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

    6- See you next year!

    Uvidíme se příští rok!

    Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

    7- Warm wishes!

    Všechno nejlepší!

    An informal, friendly phrase to write in Czech Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

    8- Happy holidays!

    Pěkné prázdniny!

    If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Czech, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

    9- Enjoy the holidays!

    Užijte si dovolenou!

    After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Czech, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

    10- Best wishes for the New Year!

    Všechno nejlepší do nového roku!

    This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

    3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

    Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Czech! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At CzechClass101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

    1- Christmas

    Vánoce

    This is the Czech word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Czech will include this word!

    2- Snow

    sníh

    In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

    3- Snowflake

    sněhová vločka

    Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

    4- Snowman

    sněhulák

    As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

    5- Turkey

    krocan

    Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

    6- Wreath

    věnec

    Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

    7- Reindeer

    sob

    Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

    8- Santa Claus

    Santa Claus

    Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

    9- Elf

    elf

    An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

    10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    Rudolf, sob s červeným nosem

    ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

    11- North Pole

    Severní pól

    The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

    12- Sled

    sáně

    A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

    13- Present

    dárek

    Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

    14- Bell

    zvonek

    On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

    15- Chimney

    komín

    The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

    16- Fireplace

    krb

    In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

    17- Christmas Day

    Štědrý den

    This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

    18- Decoration

    dekorace

    Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

    19- Stocking

    punčocha

    According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

    20- Holly

    cesmína

    Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

    21- Gingerbread house

    perníková chaloupka

    According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

    22- Candy cane

    cukroví

    According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

    23- Mistletoe

    jmelí

    Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

    4. Twelve Days of Christmas

    Twelve Days of Christmas

    Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Czech, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

    The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

    ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

    5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

    Top 10 Christmas Characters

    This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Czech! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

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