cs / en

The Christmas 2020


Dear friends,
For many, the most wonderful time of the year is finally here: Christmas time – a time we spend surrounded by family and our closest friends.

As soon as someone says “Christmas”, everyone’s first thoughts go to the traditions and customs that accompanied our childhoods. We think of the same traditions that were handed down to us from our parents and grandparents, which we hope to then hand down to our children, with the belief that they will one day teach their own children.

Christmas is connected to many traditional customs, which are practiced by nearly every family. Among the most well-known current symbols of Christmas, of course, is the decorated Christmas tree with its gifts below, however, many other charming customs and traditions exist, which only go to make Christmas even more marvelous.

We would like to provide you with at least some of them – melt the lead, little walnut boats or baking gingerbread will help you go back in time and experience a peaceful, old-time Czech Christmas. Thanks to these beautiful Czech traditions, you can absorb the atmosphere of our grandmothers and great grandmothers and touch our old Czech roots with your children!

The Christmas tree: the symbol of Christmas all over the world! Apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas also includes the four weeks of advent, which, in the olden days, was especially dedicated to the practices of repentance and meditation. Even today, some families
uphold a strict fast during this time. The advent season ends on Christmas Eve. In the olden days, Christmas Eve then began in the morning by decorating the tree.
Christmas trees come in many various shapes and sizes, each one being decorated by different people around the world, until something completely original is made. There are numerous ways to decorate a tree. You can go the more classic route, try something modern that goes along with the current trends, or even experiment with the nontraditional. Before, the tree would be traditionally decorated with little apples, nuts, straw decorations, and even honey gingerbread.
Who of us doesn´t look forward to the ringing of the bell and those nice children´s eyes when unwrapping presents under the Christmas tree?

A star in your apple means good luck!
The most well-known Christmas tradition is the cutting of the apples. The apples are cut in two crosswise (not top to bottom), then they are examined to see if a small star can be found in the center – the star foreshadows health in the coming year. The opposite prediction can be found in discovering worms or a cross-shaped apple core.

A healthy nut expresses a positive future!
Just as with the apples, prophesies can also be made using walnuts. Every member of the family takes one walnut and cracks it open. The discovery of a black center predicts misfor- tune and sadness, whereas a healthy nut symbolizes luck and joy.

These little walnut boats will carry us to family peace!
Since you’ve already cracked open the walnuts, it’s time to stick small candles into their hallowed-out shells. There should be one boat for every member of the family. Place the boats in a larger dish with water, and light the candles. If the boats stay together, the family will also stay together. If any of the boats float away from the others, it means that person will leave the family to travel abroad.

Melt the lead and unleash your fantasies!

Although a bit more challenging to set up, the significantly richer old Czech tradition of pouring lead is often celebrated. Melt a bit of lead, which you will then pour into a dish with water. The members present can then judge according to the shape the lead takes after hardening in the water what will happen to the person in question. Single women, for example, often try to recognize a face or a monogram of the person they are destined to fall in love with. The lead’s final shape can also be read as the answer to any question asked before it was poured.

What would Christmas be without hot mead? This age-old drink is a favorite among both Slavic and Celtic people!
Do you love Christmas markets? Do you also enjoy sipping on hot mead at Christmas markets? You surely aren’t alone in this department. Even the ancient Greeks and Romans enjoyed the beverage. Both Slavic and Celtic people appreciate mead as well, taking the top spot when it comes to its consumption. Our ancestors looked at mead as the source of life, wisdom, courage, and strength.
They also believed that it works as an aphrodisiac. The origins of this alcoholic drink can be found in nature itself.
Wild bees living in the hallows of trees first produced the honey. Once it began to rain, the rainwater would fill the hallows, diluting the honey. Then, thanks to natural leaven, the honey-water mixture would start to ferment. And that’s how the first mead came to be. Once people discovered this miracle, they began making mead themselves according to what they observed in nature. The same way that mead was produced in ancient times, as well as in the Middle Ages,
remains similar to how it is made today.

Honey gingerbread will put a smile on your face!
In the Czech Republic, baking gingerbread is a timeless tradition. The first mention of it being made dates all the way back to 1324, where it was treated as a particularly expensive, luxurious food item. The workshops in Nuremberg acted as a model for the first Czech gingerbread makers. Today, we can make them any way we like at home, using them to decorate
the Christmas table and tree.

Out of all the Christmas cookies, the scent of Christmas gingerbread is usually the first to fill our homes. There are countless recipes from all over the world that are guaranteed to taste great. Gingerbread is a traditional treat, predominately loved by children. There are some people who couldn’t even imagine celebrating Christmas without it. Christmas gingerbread can be baked at home with the children, and then used to decorate the Christmas tree. Take our word for it, you’ll all have a great time!

We wish you and your entire family a wonderful Christmas time
Your CRONIMET team