The international service of Czech Radio 
22-11-2019, 05:10 UTC
Living Czech

Well, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is quite delightful...

Hello and welcome to Living Czech. I'm Nick Carey, and I am joined in the studio today by Jana Kotalikova. This week we will take a look at the winter in Czech.

Now winter is pretty much here and in effect. Though the weather in the Czech Republic is now merely pretty damn cold, it will soon be freezing, with temperatures way below anything I would care to mention. If you remember from earlier editions of Living Czech, winter in Czech is zima, which also means cold. That should give you a fairly good indication of what this season means to the Czech people. A good example of this is when Czechs say it is cold, they say je zima, literally it is winter. My favourite expression for saying it is cold is je kosa, literally it is a scythe. Originally the saying was klepat kosu, to hammer a scythe, and meant that someone was cold. The explanation behind this saying is really quite sweet. When a scythe is made in a smithy, it is beaten into shape when it is taken out of the fire, and the noise the blacksmith's hammer makes when it taps on the blade is apparently akin to teeth chattering from the cold, so je kosa, it's cold.

What do the Czechs do at this time of the year? Well, they are lovers of winter sports, and the main one of these is hokej, which the Czechs are renowned for being good at, winning the world championships several times in the past few years. Hokej is one of the main national sports in the Czech Republic, and a source of great pride.

Another great favourite of the Czechs, especially with the arrival of sníh, snow is ly¾ování, skiing. Huge masses of them disappear off to the mountains every weekend for a bit of ly¾ování, skiing, or even a very new sport in the Czech Republic, snowboarding, which some experts believe will take over from skiing as the main winter sport within the next twenty years. Indeed, nowadays you can see many a snowboardista, snowboarder, blazing down a sjezdovka, ski slope. And away from the slopes you can take a turn on some brusle, ice skates. As many ponds and lakes freeze over in mid-winter, there are many natural ice rinks to be found throughout the Czech Republic in the winter.

For the children there are sáòky, sledges, to ride on, or in the lane you can build a snìhulák, snowman, and házet snìhové koule, have snowball fights. If there is no snow then there is a very high chance that there will be mráz, frost awaiting you when you wake up in the morning.

There are ways to fight the cold, other than wearing a ¹ála, scarf, rukavice, gloves, and klobouk, hat. One of these is to load up on svaøené víno, mulled wine, or grog, which is hot water with rum, lemon and sugar. These tend to have a great warming effect, but are to be avoided in large quantities, as you will be unaware of the cold, but seriously aware of a massive hangover the next day. Alternately, on street corners you can often find hot ka¹tany, chestnuts.

All in all, I would say that the Czechs are great fans of zima, winter. It is perhaps even their favourite season, as they seem to have a multitude of things to do. Myself, I am going stay inside as often as possible with a piping hot glass of svaøené víno, mulled wine.

Well, that's all we have time for this week. Next week we are going get all festive and take a look at Christmas in Czech. Until then, mìjte se pùvabnì, or take care.

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