It’s St. Nicholas Day tomorrow, so Jeff and I went to look at the Old Town Square to see the Mikuláš processions (you can read more about the tradition here). It was more fun than I expected. We got there a little after 5 p.m. and things were slowly getting going. The first groups of Mikuláš, Angel and Devil were starting to appear, causing all the kids to stare with curiosity and wide-eyed awe. The best Mikuláš and Devil we saw came all the way from the town of Telč and stationed themselves in front of the regioninfo office to promote their Highlands region, hand out koláče and impress the kids. Their costumes were really top notch!
After dinner at Kolkovna, we came back to the square around 6:30 p.m. and the action was in full swing. Small groups consisting of various renditions of St. Nicholas with his beard and cane, the Devil with his chain and sack, and the occasional winged Angel were surrounded by families and onlookers. The children obediently recited poems and bashfully accepted candy for their efforts. Foreign tourists watched with interest and took pictures. Everyone seemed in a good mood.
We made an interesting observation. There were far more Devils than Angels on the streets. Does this say anything about the Czech character? 🙂
[…] Today is December 5th, the eve of St. Nicholas Day or Mikuláš in Czech. We have written about our experience spending a fun Mikuláš evening on Prague’s Old Town Square. This year, we decided to visit a smaller Prague square away from the center. We went to Náměstí Míru in Prague 2. You rarely run into foreign tourists here and the area has quite a local feel. The Christmas market that is put up on the square every year is a small, rather intimate affair and you’ll mostly find Czechs here, shopping for Christmas gifts on their way from work, showing their kids the lights or enjoying a cup of mulled wine and a klobása purchased at one of the stands. Before we headed out this evening, we had expected some commotion on the square, some families with kids and a few Mikuláš-Devil-Angel groups. We got there a little after five and were surprised to find the square literally packed with people. So packed you could hardly move amidst the crowd. People dodged each other, looked for each other, stood in lines to buy sweets, beer, hot dogs… They carried their children in their arms and on their shoulders, or tried to make their way through the crowd pushing strollers. A number of Mikuláš and Devil characters clad in elaborate costumes handed out candy and tangerines to well behaved children. People had fun. […]