Old Town Square

Prague, Czech Republic

Mikuláš Eve

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A trio of characters—Mikuláš (St. Nicholas) with an Angel and a Devil—roam about in the Old Town Square. It is St. Nicholas Eve, December 5th. From late afternoon and through the evening these traditional figures greet the thousands of people who crowd into the square. Nicholas asks the children if they have been good (and, of course, they have). Children sing a song or recite a short poem before the angel gives them sweets or other treats. If they have been bad, it is said they would get a sack of potatoes or coal, not candy, although this doesn't actually happen. There are many such groups in the square. This marks the beginning of the Christmas season and the Christmas market stalls are open.