Mikuláš, known around the world as St. Nicholas Day, is celebrated on the 5th of December and signifies the start of Christmas for Czech people.
Going back to the 14th Century, the legend of Mikulas tells that children are to be rewarded for being good and sent to the devil for being bad. It is a charming tradition that brings together people young and old in a festive frenzy of costumes, delicious sweet treats, and festive performances. It is a time of gift-giving, celebration, community, and charity.
Children are rewarded if they have been good but if not, they will go into the Devil’s sack! During this time, the streets will be filled with Christmas joy and incredible costumes. So where are the best places to catch the Christmas cheer?
Mikuláš Rides Through Prague
There will be a Saturday night steam train ride around Prague for all the children that cannot wait until Christmas day. The train will be adorned with decorations and will depart from Prague’s Smíchov railway station at 8:56 am, 12:56 pm, and at 4:56 pm.
It will take a scenic route through the Prokop Valley to Hostivice and back to the station via Prague’s Semmering. Not only will there be beautiful views of the city, but there will also be fireworks at the station in Hostivica. Tickets are required for this event and are priced at 390 crowns for an adult and 290 crowns for children.
Mikuláš in the Public Transport Museum
Mikuláš will be present with the devil and the angel at the museum from 9 am to 5 pm. They will give out sweets and gifts for children in exchange for a song or a poem. You can buy tickets at the office of the Public Transport Museum for the standard price. There is also a shop where you can find an assortment of Christmas gifts in the form of socks, toys, or models. They are selling a unique calendar of museum vehicles for 190 crowns, or a Christmas gingerbread for 150 crowns so it is worth a visit.
Mikuláš on the Roof at Radost
The popular “Advent on the Lantern Roof” has moved this year for the first time to the Roof of the Dum Radost in Žižkov. The house will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland of decorated trees, a nativity scene with live animals, and real gifts from Mikuláš. Come with your little ones from 5 pm to 6 pm with a prepared package and Mikuláš, the devil and an angel will make sure that your child receives one in return. Entrance is 100 crowns and the price includes a hot cider.
Mikuláš in the Old Town Square
The Old Town Square will be filled with supernatural beings on Monday, December 5th, from 4 pm. Mikuláš, the devil and an angel will come to cheer up young and old visitors that are in the Christmas markets. He will arrive in the square accompanied by an angel’s carriage and the postman will bring everyone’s mail. However, it would not be Mikuláš without a devil coming to spoil the fun! He comes to spoil Christmas for the children, but he will not succeed as the reindeer will put everything back together as normal.
Devils on Certovka
All wooden boats leave every 15 minutes from 16:00 to 21:00 from the mysterious Judita underground wharf (Křižovnické náměstí 3, Prague 1). During this cruise, the devils from the shores spew spooky rumours and fire-filled stories at children and their parents. On Vltava, you will also meet the angel himself and Mikuláš who will reward the good children accordingly. The price for the cruise is 670 per person.
Mikuláš at the Prague Zoo
On December 5th, Mikuláš, the devil, and an angel will be walking around the zoo handing out small gifts to the children. From 15:30 pm there will be a meeting where the bears are.
Mikuláš Charity Bazaar
This time is also a charitable celebration. The Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97 will organize a charity bazaar on December 5th from 14:00 at the Prague Crossroads (St. Anne’s Church). It will be possible to buy products from non-profit organizations here and of course, Mikuláš will be here to welcome the children. There will also be carol singing alongside Czech actress Dagmar Havlová and her guests.
A parade prepared by Jižní Mêsto will set off on Monday 5th December at 18:00 from the Mother Teresa Community Centre in Chodov and travel through Central Park. You can join the parade where the devils make friends with angels and other characters.