The international service of Czech Radio 
2-12-2020, 00:49 UTC
Czech Christmas
 

The Christmas Tree

Xmas tree in Old Town Square in Prague The first lighting of a Christmas tree was in 1812 in the Prague villa of the director of the Theater of the Estates, Jan K. Liebich. Thirty years later, they were being sold commonly in Prague and were referred to as Christ's trees. They first caught on among wealthy Czech families, and started appearing in Moravia around the turn of the 20th century.

The custom made its way to the Czech Lands from Germany, where it had spread from town to town in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century and to the middle of this one, Christmas trees were mainly fir, which in the present day due to its scarcity has been replaced by the sturdier spruce and pine.

The practice of putting up lit Christmas trees in public places caught on in Europe after World War I. According to traditional accounts, the first public Christmas tree was erected in Plzen in 1925. This practice quickly spread during the First Republic to other Czech and Moravian towns and villages. Another Christmas greenery tradition besides the Christmas tree is mistletoe.

| Back |