Thursday, 7 December 2017

Letters to the Baby Jesus

If you are thinking about sending a letter to Baby Jesus you better get a move on.  The special Baby Jesus post box opened on the 3rd and will close on the 10th, when the White Lady will be visiting the town to take your letters to the Baby.

In the Czech Republic tradition it is not Santa Claus who brings the children their presents on Christmas Eve but the Baby Jesus (Ježíšek). It is therefore Baby Jesus to whom children address their letters.

The tradition of Baby Jesus goes back at least 400 years and has survived Nazism and Communism, but since the Velvet Revolution Czech children have come under a cultural and commercial onslaught from the West. Is it any surprise that the Baby Jesus is under threat from the American Santa Klaus? Part of the problem is that no one knows what Baby Jesus looks like, unlike the highly branded Santa. Is the Baby a baby? No one knows.

In response to the Santaization of Christmas the Czechs have fought back - there are organisations set up to save the Baby Jesus. As one website states "We fight for traditional Czech Christmas and practices. We want the Baby Jesus to be saved from the invasion of the red fat man and his reindeer underlings." But it is going to be a hard fight.

If you are wondering where to send your letter, please note Baby Jesus does not live in Lapland or at the North Pole, but like a true Czech he lives in the small town of Boží Dar in the Czech Mountains.

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