People in Prague can get free Christmas soup on December 23 and 24 at the Christmas market at Old Town Square.
In the Czech Republic, December 24 is the day most celebrating takes place, including a traditional meal with fish soup and fried carp.
Each day, approximately 2,000 portions of soup will be served, and on December 23 there will also be a traditional Christmas mushroom kuba, a sort of grain risotto with mushrooms. Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) will serve the soup on December 23.
The event brings out a cross section of people, including families visiting the market, surprised tourists, and retired people. Same as last year, the disposable plates and cutlery will be recyclable.
The soup is made from a traditional recipe using 1,500 kilograms of ingredients . In addition to Czech-bred carp from South Bohemia there will be 130 kg of carrots, celery and parsley, 40 kg of onion, 90 kg of flour, 65 kg of butter and 60 liters of cream. For flavoring there is fish roe, brandy, and caramel. Toasted croutons can be put on top.
In the past, soup was served only on December 24, but in both Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Last year, Mayor Hřib changed it to two days, but only on Old Town Square. This was so people could still get free soup but then spend December 24 at home.
“In previous years it was customary for Prague mayors to distribute soup on Christmas Eve. Already last year I decided to make a change and we would serve the soup together the day before,” Mayor Hřib said.
“I think that Christmas is a holiday of peace, family well-being, and that is why politicians should not take up the public space for Christmas and ideally this should last last until New Year’s Eve. Not to mention the fact that for many people it is also a period of fasting, so that giving out soup on Christmas Eve did not even fit into the earlier traditions. Therefore, I would like to invite all Prague residents and visitors to the Old Town Square on Monday, December 23, from 11 am for fish soup and mushroom kuba” he added.
A part of Czech holiday tradition is fasting all day before the Christmas Eve meal in the hopes of seeing a magical golden pig in the sky. The idea is popular among children, and will also be part of the Christmas Eve celebration at Prague Zoo.
Market stalls will be open on December 24 to 3 pm at the latest, and some food stands to 10 pm.
Entertainment programs will continue to take place at Old Town Square, with Jan Jakub Ryba’s Czech Christmas Mass at 9 pm on December 24. The next day, December 25, there will be a concert on a mobile carillon from 6 to 7 pm.
The markets at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square both run until January 6.