Czech Santa

Who gives presents under the Christmas tree? Did you receive Christmas presents on Christmas Eve? Than they weren’t from Santa Claus but from Jezisek. Jezisek is a Christmas gift-giving figure in the Czech Republic who can be translated as Baby Jesus.

Jezisek is the one who brings the presents to Czech people and it has been Jezisek for centuries. After the Velvet Revolution, Santa Claus started to appear in Czech Republic – especially in shop windows, but Jezisek is enrooted in Czech hearts.

The great thing about him is that nobody actually knows how he looks like! Have you seen him? I haven’t! Jezisek usually comes after a Christmas Eve dinner when everybody walks out of the room where there is a Christmas tree. That is because Jezisek needs solitude for his work. Otherwise he wouldn’t bring his presents!

So children are usually in their rooms looking out of windows to see Jezisek visiting their home. Meanwhile, parents put the presents under the Christmas tree, then ring a bell and unseen slip out of the room. The ringing of bell announces that Jezisek has finished his work and is leaving. Children rush into the room with the Christmas tree to see Jezisek, but are always late! Maybe next year…

Jezisek is therefore a mysterious figure. Some people imagine him as a small child in a crib, but how could little baby bring so much presents? That is why some see him as a grown-up Jesus, some see him as an angel or a star. I’ve always imagined him as a mist or a ghost because he can walk through walls. Everyone has his or her own idea of how he might look like. And that is why Jezisek is so loved!

What do you think? How does he really look like?

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