On the evening of December 5th, 2023, a heavenly trio of Saint Nicholas with his staff, a kind angel, and a frightening devil traditionally meet with small children in Prague. This yearly gathering aims to determine if the kids have been well-behaved throughout the year.
The group, led by Saint Nicholas, started their journey at Na Františku Hospital, where they visited patients, bringing them joy. Their path led them through the Old Town Square and ended at the Peace Square. This route has been a tradition for several years now, and the interest in them is substantial every time.
The majority of children aren’t afraid of this heavenly trio. A few children, however, showed signs of nervousness, probably because they were a bit naughty at home. The parents sometimes even whisper to the trio to tell their children to behave better at home, using this encounter as a disciplinary method.
At the Peace Square, children were asked to recite a poem, sing a song, or tell a joke, essentially anything to interact with the trio. Some of them are shy or unwilling, but every child receives a sweet treat in the end.
Another Saint Nicholas group was just a short distance from the Vinohradský Pavilion. Children are given various tasks at stations and collect points. When they accumulate a certain number of points, they come to the group, recite a poem, sing a song, and receive a sweet reward from the angel.
The children visiting Saint Nicholas ranged from two to fourteen years old. Apart from Czech children, Ukrainian children also come to the event. They sang songs to the angel in Czech, Ukrainian, and even German languages.
In conclusion, although some children admitted to being mischievous, they were still rewarded with chocolate and sweets. This tradition, which brings joy and moral lessons to children, is much appreciated by the locals and the expat community, such as a young mother from Kyiv, Ukraine, who expressed her fondness for this beautiful Czech custom.