Episode 004: Festive Ma-Czech-Carps

Festive Ma-Czech-Carps Logo

In today’s episode of Smörgåsbord, Angel and Mik travel to Central Europe to discover the legend of the festive carps of the Czech Republic. It is said that during Christmas, the people of the Czech Republic would keep live carps hiding in their bathtubs before consuming these fishes for Christmas. What’s the deal?! Why do they keep them in bathtubs? Are they magical? And as always, do they taste good?


00:00 Opening Song

00:43 Show introduction

03:15 Where on earth is the Czech Republic?

05:55 Religion in the Czech Republic

10:49 Christmas traditions in the Czech Republic

14:40 What are carps?

18:48 The history of festive carps of the Czech Republic

21:30 The carp in the bathtub during Christmas

27:09 How is the festive carp cooked in the Czech Republic?

31:26 The tradition of festive carps today

36:34 Killing a carp

41:40 What’s in your palette?


Resources from today’s episode:

5 Christmas Traditions Only Czechs Will Understand” by Diana Bocco

10 Czech Christmas Traditions” by Klara Hajkova

A Czech Christmas: fish soup, potato salad and False Snails” by Peggy Grodinsky

Are Czechs the least religious of all?” by Dana Hamplová

Bottom Feeders: What They Are, What They Eat, and Whether You Should Eat Them” by Julie K

Carp – The Festive Fish” by Beyond Prague

Carp for Christmas: the odd Central European tradition explained” by KafkaDesk

Christmas Carp” by Jan Purkrábek

Christmas in Czechia / Czech Republic” by WhyChristmas?.com

Czech Christmas Customs and Supersitions“ by MyCzechRepublic

Czech Santa” by Prague.net

Fish Facts: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Common Carp But Were Afraid to Ask” by Phil Monahan

Fried Carp, Symbol of Czech Christmas” by Czech Specials

Jezisek vs. Santa Claus” by Nicole Klement

The Story Behind Czech Christmas Carp” by Erin Naillon

There’s a Carp In My Bathtub! Czech Christmas Traditions” by Kytka

Understanding Prague's Traditional Carp Christmas Massacre” by Marianne Crone

Unlike their Central and Eastern European neighbors, most Czechs don’t believe in God” by Jonathan Evans

About the show

Welcome to Smörgåsbord! A show where we explore the rituals, myths and all things strange about the world of food. Join the neverending silliness of hosts Angel and Mik as they discover strange rituals like bread and wine turning to the body and blood of a God, or holding carp as pets in bathtubs during Christmas.


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