Day 22 of Advent: Czech Traditional Xmas Meal

Christmas undoubtedly includes Christmas Eve dinner, which is also the highlight of Christmas Eve. People are dressed very nicely and all the families get together. Czechs care a lot about the traditional Christmas menu, which is served on the evening of December 24. So what are the original and traditional recipes? The fish soup and fried carp with potato salad.

Carp in the Bathtub

A very curious fact about the Christmas dinner is that the carp is bought alive a few days before the dinner. Buying your Christmas carp is a very simple mission and for most of the children is also fun. All you have to do is go to fishermen, who are selling carp on many street corners all around. The Czech Christmas includes a floating carp in the bathtub, which is especially enjoyed by children since they can watch it swimming at their homes or can talk to it. I guess you may want to ask where we take a shower when our bathtub is full? 🙂 Some people have more bathrooms at home – problem solved. The others may keep the carp in the bathtub just for a few hours and it’s usually for fun and children! Fish began to appear more often on the Christmas table at the beginning of the 19th century.

Carp Scales for Good Luck

At Christmas Eve dinner, several customs are followed – an extra plate is being prepared for a casual guest or carp scales are placed under the plates for good luck, and so that there will be enough money next year. For the same reason, people hide Christmas carp scales in their wallets.

from the family bathtub to the dinner table :)
From the family bathtub to the dinner table 🙂

Potato Salad


  • 0.5 kg of potatoes
  • 250 g sterilized root vegetables
  • 50 g of sterilized peas
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • mayonnaise
  • pickled cucumber
  • whole mustard
  • pepper and salt


Boil the washed potatoes in their skins, let them cool, then peel and cut into cubes. Boil the eggs hard, cool them, peel them and cut them into cubes. Peel the onion and finely chop. Cut the pickles into small pieces.

In a bowl, mix sterilized vegetables and peas, mix chopped onions and pickles and chopped eggs. Then add the sliced potatoes to the mixture.

From mayonnaise, mustard and pickled cucumber, mix the dressing, which we season with pepper and salt. Add the dressing to the salad with constant stirring until the required density is reached.

The best side dish to fried carp, that should be prepared the day before.
Potato salad is the best side dish to fried carp.

Fried Carp


  • 1 kg carp
  • 4 eggs
  • breadcrumbs
  • flour
  • salt
  • milk
  • frying oil


Rinse the fish thoroughly with cold water, clean, debone and cut into fillets, which are slightly salted and left overnight in the refrigerator, loaded with milk.

Before wrapping, wipe the fillets and wrap in a classic three-pack in the order flour – egg – breadcrumbs. Fry portions of fish until golden brown in hot oil and then let them drip briefly on a paper napkin or sieve.

Not everyone likes carp for dinner – someone likes it, someone hates it. Therefore, many Czechs choose another meal instead of carp. It’s usually a different kind of fish – fillet or salmon… or they just have pork or chicken chop. It’s very optional and it depends on who likes what.

Carp for Christmas - the odd Central European tradition
Carp for Christmas – the odd Central European tradition

And what do you have for Christmas Eve dinner? Would you like to try carp and potato salad? Don’t forget to check our blog, the last few Christmas articles coming soon.

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Iveta Sáblíková

Hi everyone, My name is Iveta and I am currently a new PR and Marketing Intern at Foreigners Brno. I am 22 years old and I was born & raised in a small town in the Czech Republic. I am obsessed with traveling and languages - so I decided to move to the UK, where I am completing a bachelor's degree in tourism and events management. I'm really looking forward to starting writing articles for you and I really hope you will enjoy this journey with me.

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