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St. Nicholas Eve in Prague

Prague's December 5th Mikulas Tradition


St. Nicholas Day in Prague

St. Nicholas Day in Prague

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The Czech St. Nick makes public appearances on the night of December 5th, or St. Nicholas Eve. On this evening, Old Town Prague takes on a childlike sense of excitement. Costumed adults – dressed as Mikulas (St. Nicholas), angels, and devils - take to the streets to engage children in a Christmas version of Halloween.

However, it is not the children who get to decide “trick or treat” on this night. St. Nick and his helpers reward good children with sweets and bad children with coal. Sometimes children have to perform a song or a poem in return for their treat.

While the angel is a creature of good, the devil acts as a reminder for children to behave throughout the year to ensure that they will be given treats on St. Nicholas Eve and not stuffed in his sack and sent to Hell.

Though the devil character of the trio seems frightening, adults and children alike enjoy Mikulas. Visitors to Prague on this day should be sure to visit Old Town Square late in the afternoon or early evening, so that they can catch this Czech Christmas tradition in action.

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