Czech Christmas Traditions Explained: The Golden Pig

Everybody in the Czech Republic knows about this custom: who fasts on Christmas Eve will see a golden pig in the evening. But what are its origins?

Adherence to traditions belongs to Christmas. With them, the holidays gain their charm. Perhaps every Czech knows the Christmas custom of the apparition of the Golden Pig.

What does the Golden Pig symbolize?

The origin of this symbol of Christmas has been shown back to pre-Christian times when pagans celebrated the winter solstice instead of this Christmas.

Typical symbols of the solar cult included a pig, which people connected with abundance and prosperity. The golden colour is a symbol of the departure of winter and the rule of the Sun. Only those who fasted all day long can view the Golden Pig on Christmas Eve.

The pig usually appears with the first star in the sky, when the family is also to sit down for Christmas dinner.

Before dinner, parents usually show children a piggy bank using reflections of light from a mirror. The Golden Pig is a Christmas classic, even in the form of Christmas decorations.

It is mostly children who try to not eat anything all day long and wait impatiently for that moment when they finally see the Golden Pig. On the other hand, adults usually give up the attempts and enjoy eating Christmas cookies, which means no golden pig for them!

A Christmas tradition that’s become popular in its own right is a commercial for a Czech soda that features the story of the golden pig. In the commercial, a father tells his daughter the story, and…the pig appears. (Sort of.)

This commercial is so well-liked that it’s been aired each year since its debut, a decade ago.


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