Czech people believe that certain foods and herbs can serve to tell the future and predict the year ahead. Around Christmas time, these specific predicting activities have been celebrated by Czechs throughout all of recorded history.
During the Christmas dinner people half the apples and according to the shape of the seeds they read a prophecy of how healthy they will be in the coming year. If a star appears, then the person will be well and healthy. If the cross appears, don’t expect anything good. The same could be done with walnuts – if the inside nut is healthy and fresh, it’s a good sign. If it’s black, guess what could happen to the person in the coming year. One more: if the goats are given apples on Christmas Eve, their milk will be sweet.
Czech women put honey on their cheeks on Christmas to bring them romance and love. Honey is also placed in a saucer on the Christmas table to ward off evil and bring health to the family.
Poppyseed, peas, wheat, barley
The day after Christmas, poppyseeds, peas, wheat, and/or barley are fed to the poultry. This custom assures that many delicious eggs will be laid in the coming year and that the hens and their eggs will be plentiful.
Mushrooms give health and strength. A traditional meal called kuba, prepared from dried mushrooms, barley, garlic, onions, and spices, used to be served as the main meal in the past. Mushroom soup can be served before dinner.
Garlic is an essential part of Christmas that should not be missing at any Christmas dinner. It is believed to provide strength and protection. A bowl of garlic can be placed under the dinner table.
Sheaf of Grain
A bundle of grain dipped in holy water can be used to sprinkle the house to prevent it from burning down in the next year.