While the Chinese celebrate their singleness, Americans enjoy a day off in remembrance of veterans, Czechs are busy stuffing their faces with goose – not turkey. Expats living in Prague can enjoy American style Thanksgiving in a handful of restaurants. However, there is also But they can also enjoy the local tradition of celebrating St. Martin’s day! Which I like to call, Czech Thanksgiving.
“St. Martin’s day is also known as the Funeral of Saint Martin, Martinstag or Martinmas, as well as Old Halloween and Old Hallowmas Eve, is the Funeral day of Saint Martin of Tours (Martin le Miséricordieux).” – Wikipedia
This day is celebrated all over the world but in different ways. Even neighboring countries such as the Czech Republic and Germany have slightly alternative traditions. The Feast of St. Martin is associated with the saying ‘Martin přijíždí na bílém koni’ (trans. “Martin is coming on a white horse”). This is significant because before global warming, the first snow would usually fall around November 1st.
Snow in Prague?
Today, it barely snows in Prague. But Czechs still hope for Martin to come on his white horse and they enjoy a traditional feast day in the run-up to Advent. They eat a lot of food on this day… after all, it is a feast! But the traditional staples include roast goose and the Czech version of Beaujolais nouveau, Svatomartinské víno, a young wine from the recent harvest. – Czech4You
If you are in Prague right now, go to any local restaurant and you will likely find a special festive menu to celebrate. If you’re like me, you’ll want to celebrate both Czech Thanksgiving as well as the traditional American version. The more the merrier, right? And who knows, maybe it will actually snow this year!
I’ve had some amazing Thanksgiving dinners in Prague and in America. It really isn’t about the day or the food. Getting together with people you love, whether they are friends or family, is what makes it special.
The food was great on all Thanksgiving type occasions though, don’t get me wrong.