A is for apple, slice it in half crosswise to tell your fortune (a star-shaped core means happiness and health).
B is for the annual beatdown given to the carp; don’t feel bad for it though, it’s unlucky!
C is for crescents, wasp nests, Linzers, and other holiday cookies that are easy to eat, impossible to make.
D is for deep-fried everything: carp, řízek, and wine sausage, whatever they say Czech Christmas ain’t healthy.
E is for empty churches suddenly full (midnight mass is a popular event even in one of the world’s most atheist countries).
F is for fish scales, to be dried and carried in your wallet, for prosperity year round, like a good Czech.
G is for the traditional dishes of groats and garlic (Black Kuba), and, of course, gingerbread.
H is for hunger, embrace it before the feast and see the mythical Golden Pig.
I is for “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no wait it’s Baby Jesus,” invisible and flying through the Christmas sky like Superman.
J is for Josef Lada whose folksy paintings grace the Christmas greetings and postage stamps of the season.
K is for Karel Gott, the Czech Bing Crosby, whose Christmas croonings are essential holiday listening.
L is for lentils and legumes, like the peas in the potato salad, traditionally eaten at Christmas for luck.
M is for the money hiding under your plate, the more you get the wealthier you will be in the New Year.
N is for nothing, absolutely nothing, left on your plate. Eat up or bad luck comes your way!
O is for ornaments, stunning in straw and glass, hung on the tree on Christmas Day.
P is for Pretty Woman and other American films (Home Alone) that are required holiday viewing in the Czech Republic.
Q is for queuing; formerly for bananas and oranges, these days for your e-shop purchases.
R is for rum, (or whatever the EU says we have to call it), which goes in the cookies, the Christmas punch, and directly down the hatch.
S is for socks, soap, and sweets; give or receive them in the true spirit of Czech Christmas.
T is for tuning into Czech fairy tales (pohadky), the cheesier the better, see our favorites here.
U is for action under the mistletoe, pucker up, Czechs do it, too!
V is for vánočka the very yummy braided Czech Christmas bread that also makes fantastic French toast.
W is for walnut boats, stick a candle in the middle and float them across a bowl of water to tell your fortune.
X is for the extra place setting at the table, an odd number of settings is considered unlucky.
Y is for you better stay put: The first person to get up from the table will be the first to, uh-oh, die the following year.
Z is for zany superstitions: put honey on your cheeks for love, shove your dog outside backwards, throw a shoe over your shoulder, and don’t forget the molten lead for fortune telling – Merry Christmas, everyone!