Did You Know?
In Slovakia they have Christmas Carp that live in the family bathtub for a few days before they are eaten.
For centuries, families throughout much of central Europe have relied on one simple main course for Christmas Eve dinner: the common carp.
But getting from river (or carp farm) to table is not so simple. As the tradition goes, the Christmas carp must first swim in the family bathtub for at least a day or two before being killed, cleaned and prepared.
Bathtub carp is one of several traditions tied to Christmas Eve — a day that is the centerpiece of holiday celebrations for Slovaks and some others in central Europe. It is also the day, children are told, when baby Jesus brings a Christmas tree. (This requires some elaborate subterfuge from parents, who must hide and decorate the tree behind closed doors.) Later in the day, the little ones get their gifts.
These days, at least in Slovakia's capital city, more and more people are deciding to buy the fish ready to cook from a fishmonger, rather than worrying about the potentially messy job of killing it at home.