Little Prague HOMEpage
Get Czeched-out at Little Prague Bohemian Restaurant.
Czech Fun Facts
& CzechoCalifornian stats
Get Czeched-out at Little Prague Bohemian Restaurant.

This page uses Times NR CE / Latin 2 font for proper viewing.      Page extensively revised 26 Sep. 2005.

Index to Facts:  (click to jump to chapter)
"Quick Comparisons" & Hard Stats
     Capital Concerns
Famous Czechs & Californians
Herstory Czech Style
Legendary Lore, or...?
Emblematic Matters
     CZ Seal versus CA Seal, which crest is best?
     CZ & CA Flags:  Why Red, White & Blue, too?
Tech Talk:  Transport, Phones, Computers
Language:  Mish-mash? or Míšmáš? & RUR?
(outa)Place Names
More Geography, Meteorology, & Identities
„Česky Brewski" or Beer Rules!
Holidays:  Christmas, Easter, and Mushroom Hunting Days

California is 5 times larger than Czech Republic.

Quick Comparisons:  CA to CZ
California is:
     lower, higher, colder, hotter, wetter, drier, less & more populated. (Depends on how you raise the question, and where we hid the answer.)
Land Area:
158,693 sq. mi. 30,449 sq. mi. (1/5th of CA)
1,100 mi. none, landlocked
30 million 10 million
Pop. Density:
190 people/sq. mi. 343 people/sq. mi.
1 USD 24.5 CzK
Median Income: [2000]
$47,493 $16,800   [give or take]
GDP: [2003]
$1,360 billion
$172 billion
[Yes but that's 4,218 billion CzK!]
The Czech Crown „Koruna“ is represented by CzK.
Lowest Elevation:
-282' Death Valley 377' Elbe River
Highest point:
14,494' Mt. Whitney 5,256' Snezka
Formal Name:
California Republic Czech Republic
Golden State, Bear Flag Republic Heart of Europe
State Holiday:
Admission Day
9 Sept. (1850)
Founding of 1st Republic
28 October (1918)
Independence (split from Slovakia) 1 January (1993)
Unofficial Czech Holiday: Václav Nameday  28 September
„Svatováclavské posvícení"   (observed on closest weekend)

Capital Concerns    
CA Capital
CZ Capital
Land Area:
96.29 sq. mi. 191.5 sq. mi.
0.37 M  [±1M in metro area] 1.5 Million
Pop. Density:
3842.6 people/sq. mi. 7832.9 people/sq. mi.
Lowest Elevation:
32'     (about as flat as 581'
Highest point:
32'      a potato pancake) 1309'
Airline Code:
Formal Name:
Sacramento Praha“ [Prague]
Nick names:
Big Tomato, River City, Camellia Capital, The Capital City of 100 Spires, Golden Prague
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Famous Czechs

Sgt. Michael Strank (born in Jarabina, CZ) led the Marines who raised US flag over Iwo Jima in World War II on February 23, 1945.  Sadly,he was killed one week later.
Joseph Skoda developed modern medicine's diagnostic methodology. He co-founded Vienna's modern medical school in the 19th Century and was the first to switched from Latin to the vernacular (German) when teaching medicine--a radical if practical move.
Gregor Johann Mendel outlined the laws of heredity, genes, and hybridization by studying pea plants. This research made him the "Father of Genetics," even tho his research was, at least in part, a failed attempt to discredit Darwinism.
     What is less well known is, as Abbot of the Abbey of St. Thomas at Brunn, he was an adamant opponent of taxing religious houses. Ultimately the government dropped the tax--but the battle contributed to Mendel's ill-health and death.
Sigmund Freud was born in Príbor (Moravia). One would have to be nuts not to know what Freud contributed to psychiatry.
Jan Janský was the first to study blood, separating it into 4 types (A, B, AB, O)., thus leading to safe transfusions. He campaigned for people to voluntarily donate blood; and to this day, Czech blood donors are awarded a Janský medal („Janského plaketa“) for outstanding contributions.
Among the giants of Czech music are: Antonín Dvořák, Bedrich Smetana, and Jaroslav Vejvoda who composed "Roll Out The Barrel" in 1929 (originally titled in Czech "Sorry For The Love I Gave You").
Otto Wichterle invented a process in 1941 to make the synthetic fiber he called silon independent of the earlier American development "nylon" in 1935. He is best know for
inventing the contact lens in 1956, tho the Communist government sold his patented process to Americans. He was in and out of favor with the regime several times, until the Velvet Revolution elevated him to honorary president of the Czech Academy of Science. In 1993 asteroid #3899 was named after him.
František Křížík [don't try pronouncing it if you're not Czech]. Křížík became know as the "Czech Thomas Edison." Among his inventions was an anti-collision device for trains and the first electric arc lamp (a.k.a. Plzen Lamp).
The lightning rod was invented by Václav Prokop Diviš in 1753 (independently of
Benjamin Franklin). He also constructed the first electrified musical instrument in history circa 1748: the Denis d´or ["golden Dionysus"]. The thing might be thought of as the first moog synthesizer!.

Astronomers Tyge (Latinized as Tycho) Brahe and Johannes Kepler did much of their important work in Prague. Brahe's amazingly precise data and Kepler's applied science led to Kepler publishing his first two laws of planetary motion as well as developing the scientific method of interpreting data.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand led to World War I. He was Hapsburg Emperor Franz Josef Ferdinand's nephew and would have been next to rule. Instead, his death led to the end of Austro-Hungary and the first independent Czechoslovak Republic. [not to mention the band: Franz Ferdinand]

Alfons Mucha is considered the "Father of Art Nouveau."

(Click image to see one of his famous posters.)

view Mucha's art

Famous Californians

Californians invented:
Barbie Dolls, the Boysenberry, the wetsuit, blue jeans, The Pill, Hollywood, The Beach Boys & surfer music, the computer mouse, white zinfandel wine, theme parks like Disneyland, the words "beatnik" and "hippie" [Herb Caen, San Francisco Chronicle],
and the "Ancient Order of  E Clampus Vitus."

Writers with California connections:
Robert Frost, John Steinbeck, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Alan Ginsberg, Bret Harte, Robinson Jeffers, Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas, Mark Twain, and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Everett Ruess, "A Vagabond for Beauty," was a promising Californian artist and writer who disappeared in the Escalante, Utah area in 1934 at age 20. His mysterious fate elevated him to cult status to many. Talk about a Bohemian life!

Julia Child, The French Chef of Public Television fame, is credited both with raising American cuisine to the level of art, as well as practicality (i.e. bending down, picking up, cleaning off, and continuing to cook a chicken if dropped on the floor). What many don't know is Ms. Child was a spy during WWII, which lead to meeting her husband and being stationed in Paris where she enrolled in Cordon Bleu. The rest is cooking history.

Charles P. Ginsburg invented the practical video tape machine for television recording. It was first used by CBS TV in 1956.

Reuben Lucius "Rube" Goldberg One of the most famous cartoonists in history. He earned lasting fame for his "Rube Goldberg machines"—devices that are exceedingly complex and perform very simple tasks in a very indirect and convoluted way. The board game"Mouse Trap" is based on such a contraption.

Lillie Hitchcock Coit "5" Back in the day [5 October 1863] San Francisco welcomed it's first (probably America's first) official female firefighter when she joined Knickerbocker Fire Company No. 5--thus the "5" added to her signature. She was a free sprit, non-conformist, and appropriately a contemporary of Emperor Norton's, tho nothing is known of their interactions.

Emperor Norton -1, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico a.k.a. Joshua Abraham Norton [?14 Feb. 1819 - 8 Jan. 1880]. America's first and only emperor. Among his progressive efforts as benevolent sovereign, he ordered a bridge be built from Oakland to San Francisco precisely where it was built 100 years later. He also deplored anti-Asian racism and famously stared down a mob of would-be Chinese-bashers heading for San Francisco's China Town. All hail Norton!

Ishi [1860? - 1916] was the last Yahi Indian, a tribe that settlers had hunted to extinction. He was discovered in Oroville in 1911 and relocated to California's Museum of Anthropology where he contributed invaluable knowledge about his culture and language until his death.

Burt Rutan designed the White Knight/X-37 reuseable space craft and the Voyager aircraft--the first to fly around the world without stopping or refueling.

Dr. Paul B. MacCready and Dr. Peter B. S. Lissaman created the human-powered aircraft Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross. That later was flown (peddled) by bicyclist Bryan Allen across the English Channel.

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Herstory: with Czech Connections
In 1918 T.G. Masaryk became the 1st Czechoslovakia's 1st president (elected to office while visiting the United States!).

He married American Charlotte Garrigue in 1878 and took her last name as his middle-name.  (Czechs do not have middle names as a rule.) This act was characteristic of his presidency. He championed women's equality throughout his political career.
Pres. T. G. Masaryk
Shirley Temple Black was US Ambassador to Czech Rep. 1989-1993 (during the
Velvet Revolution). And yes, that's Shirley Temple of movie fame. In 1935 she became the first child star to win an Academy Award.
Madeleine Albright: 1st Czech born American representative to the United Nations,
America's 1st Woman Secretary of State, as well as 1st Secretary of State of Czech ancestry (male or female so far as can be determined).

Legendary Lore, or...?

Are the CA & CZ Folklore Parallels Myths or Legends?

Legend has it the Czech lands were proclaimed by „Praotec Čech" (Forefather
or Grandfather Czech) from atop Rip Hill.  Some say it happened there because
he was tired by the climb and the years of searching for the land of milk and honey.
That hill was as far as he was going!
Generations later, Princes Libuše was in charge both politically and spiritually.
The ruler cum soothsayer looked into the future and saw her Czech capital becoming a mighty city "on the threshold of the stars." Thus she named it „Praha“ (Threshold), a.k.a. Prague.  [And they say Gold Country names are weird.  That and American
spelling.  How does Praha transliterate into Prague?!   (here's a hint)]
Libuše sent out a white horse to find a husband.  Bad move.  The nag brought
back a guy who established the chauvinistic Přzemyslid Dynasty which began
subjugating women.  No myth that part.
Subsequently, legend says, Libuše's female warrior, Vlásta, decided to re-establish
women's rule.  Vlásta gathered an army of like-Lysistrata-minded gals (including
the Amazon Šarká) and declared war on men.  From that point stories very greatly, tho the men always win, duh!? It's called HIStory.
In one operatic version, Šarká comes to her senses (i.e. falls in love & goes
straight) renounces the Women's War; marries Ctriad; defeats Vlásta; dies tragically (of course) as the fat lady sings.
A more herstoric variant has the amazons killing Ctriad and are only defeated
when all the male armies of all surrounding nations gather and attack. And Šarká
survives!  Except... (of course) she decides to commit suicide by leaping from
White Rock rather than be captured.  But wait!!  The rock opens; she goes in; and
there she awaits the next period when women are politically mistreated at which time she promises to come forth and avenge them!  (Her lack of appearance pretty much disproves that myth.)  [Or would disproving myth prove it fact? Hope so.]
No matter which story one prefers, women's rights are not delivered. Now here's the slight California connection. (my apologies)
California's place name comes from the 16th Century Spanish book, Las Sergas de Esplandián which explains " the east of Eden, lies California, an island peopled by a swarthy, robust, passionate race of women living manless like Amazons.  Their island..., abounds in gold."  Šarká would be proud of us.

We thank Radio Prague for their excellent resources:

click to learn about Bruncvik

Czech-out the story of Bruncvík and his 2-tailed lion by clicking his image left.



Below you'll see how the lion is used as the symbol of Bohemia. So much for Bruncvík's 15 minutes..

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Emblematic Matters
 Bohemia's 2-tailed lion.
CZ Seal:
The Coat-of-Arms dates to 1200's. Red squares contain Bohemia's 2-tailed lion. The blue square depicts Moravia's red-and-white checkered crowned eagle adapted from the Saint Wenceslas eagle of the Holy Roman Empire. The gold square contains Silezia's crowned black eagle bearing a silver crescent. Today, Bruncvík's 2-tailed lion alone often represents Czech Rep.

(click for large view)
CA Seal:
Great Seal of California was adopted in 1849. 31 stars represent the USA (including CA) after our joining in 1850. The state motto, Eureka!, means "I have found it!"  Also depicted: the Sierra Nevada, San Francisco Bay, commerce (by ships), mining, agriculture (grapes), and grizzly bear of the "Bear Flag Republic."  Minerva sits vigilant. Wise in peace and war, she is goddess of arts & sciences. That she sprang whole from her father Jupiter's head, she also represents CA's entering the U.S. whole, never having been an infant, i.e. territory.
California's seal.
(click for large view)
Burger Family Crest:.
Our family Coat-of-Arms dates to 1990's when we relocated our restaurant to downtown Davis. Naturally, two Bohemian 2-tailed lions appear representing our birth country. The pennyfarthing bicycle is Davis, California’s city symbol (our adopted hometown). Completing the crest is the Little Prague Bohemian Restaurant logo comprised of a stylized Prague skyline.
Burger Family Crest
(click for large view)
CZ Flag: Red, White & Blue
The Czech flag was designed in 1920 for the 1st Czechoslovak State.
White (or silver) is Bohemia's traditional color and represents sky. Moravia is represented by red, which also symbolizes blood shed for freedom. Blue, traditional of Slovakia, represents imperiality & sovereignty. In January 1993, Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. Czech Rep. kept the old flag (but the blue triangle no longer represents Slovakia).
USA & CZ flags.
(click for large view)
CA Flag:
Red, White, Blue, Brown, Gold,
a little Green...
California's Bear Flag was raised in 1846 in defiance of Mexico which then
claimed California. The short lived declaration of a sovereign California [Bear Flag] Republic nevertheless established the emblem.  Its white background symbolizes purity, the red star and bar--courage; the grizzly displays strength. The lone star also denotes sovereignty (emulating Texas, the "Lone Star State").
CA State flag
(click for large view)
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Tech Talk:
        Transportation, Communication, Computers

CZ Major Airports: 2 / International Airports: 1 (Prague)
CA Major Airports; 12 (at least) / International Airports: 5 (or more)

CZ Railway Miles: 5,863. This is perhaps the densest railroad system in Europe!
CA Railway Miles: ......... Trains? In California? Really? Who knew?!
Los Angeles:  by one estimate 25% of L.A. is dedicated to the automobile (637
                         miles freeway and 25,146 miles streets.  Then there's parking!)
Prague:  Perhaps 25% of Central Old Prague is car-free!
CZ  Freeway Miles:  310  which is "equivalent to" 1,550 miles (adjusting for size
CA  Freeway Miles: 15,200
                                                                       because CA = 5 x CZ)

CZ  Street Miles (excluding freeways):      79,000   equiv. = 395,000  (x5 to adjust)
CA  Street Miles (excluding freeways):     169,200
*CZ    Internet Service Providers (2004):           295,677
*USA Internet Service Providers (2002):    115,311,958

*CZ     Main Telephone Lines (2003):         3,626,000
*USA  Main Telephone Lines (2003):     181,599,900
*CZ     Cellphones in country (2003):         9,708,700 (approx 33% of pop.)
*USA  Cellphones in country (2003):     158,722,000 (approx 50% of pop.)

*CZ     Interenet users (2003):        2,700,000
*USA  Interenet users (2002):    159,000,000
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Language: Mish-mash?  or  Míšmáš?
RUR?   (Are you 'R'?)  Noh.  Ja jsem robot!"*

Czech playwright Karl
Čapek warned of future technology's dangers in his 1920 play and short novel, R.U.R. (standing for "Rossum's Universal Robots").
This work gave the world the Czech term „robot,“ which means "a drone laborer."
* "Yes.  I am a robot!"
generic robot
The word Dollar is also Czech.  „Thaler" was the original coin's name.
Wanna Buy a Vowel?
Many consider Czech the most tongue-twisting European language.  Consider the vowelless Czech constrictor:
Strch prst skrz krk" ( meaning  "stick a finger down my throat")
Czechs don't need vowels, so they sold them all to Hawaii.

S c v r n k l s "   (to fillip) is the longest vowel-less Czech word.
The most difficult English tongue-twister is thought to be:
"The sixth sick Sheik's sixth sheep's sick."
Which is simple to say in Czech! Šestý nemocný šejk jeho šestý beran nemocný.
or not.
English words containing no vowels:
Brrrrr,  Grr,  Hmmmm,  LSD,  Mr. / Mrs. / Ms,  Nth,  pH,  Pht,  Psst, q.t.,
Ssshhhhh, Tsktsk / Tsktsks, Zzz
JHVH / JHWH / YHWH / YHVH (transliterations of the tetragrammaton)
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(outa)Place Names:
Ever wonder why the heck, "Czech?"
CZ bumper-sticker oval

And how can  cheque = check = Czech?

Cuz it's English, the grabbag language--capiche?

Czechs call their country „Česky," pronounced 'CHES-key.'
So wa'hap'n'd?!
There's no 'z' in their word.  And where'd the 'ski' go... and why?

This much we know.  You can forget about the "y" ending. (It's a Czech grammar thing, so it's okay to ignore it.)  All you need is Česk, love.

Prior to World War II, English dictionaries spelled the region's name numerous ways, including:  Chekh,  Tscekh,  Tshekh,  and Tsech.

But since English spelling avoids logic. The heck of it is, the answer lies in where
we got the word from, not to whom the word should belong.  The Poles called their southern neighbors 'Czech.'  And the Oxford English Dictionary confirms Robert G.
Latham stuck us with the Polish spelling in 1850.  How he triumphed long after his death, we don't know.  Perhaps an over-reaction to the Germanic spellings (remember "Freedom Fries" and "Liberty Cabbage"?).

So there you have it, Tho it applies to CZECHs it's Polish!!! Orthographic chauvinism!  Closet Polish sympathizing! A lexicographer did this to us all!  Grrrrrr...

These may look or sound English, but they're Czech places.
(go ahead 'n pronounce 'em)
Horni Police
Stud nice
Stud lov
Trap lice
Vile mov
Vole tiny
These may look Bohemian, but they're California places.
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Geography, Meteorology, & Identities
If We Were There...
Prague  lies at:  50° 05'N / 14° 25'E
If our birthtown, Prague, translocated to North America, it would be in
Canada north of Vancouver, British Columbia.
If Prague were in North America it would be here.
...and They Were Here.
Davis  lies at:  38° 34'N  / 121° 28'W
If our adopted hometown, Davis, translocated to Europe, it would be on Sicily in Italy. That explains our Mediterranean climate.
If Davis were in Europe, it would be here.

Cloudy or Bright?  Davis Shines!
Davisites usually enjoy sunshine about 285 days per year. That's approximately 78% of the time.

Praguers average only 146 days of sun with clouds predominating 60% of the year.


Surprisingly both Davis and Prague average about 18" of rainfall annually--but it arrives at opposite times of year.

Precipitation chart comparing Davis to Prague
Prague's daytime humidity is usually 80%, fluctuating very little day to night, summer to winter.

Humidity in Davis can fluctuate wildly over 24 hours. Jan-Mar/Nov-Dec morning humidity hovers around 90% while afternoon moister will be only 50-70%.
Apr-Oct mornings average about 80%, but afternoons plummet below 40%, often into the high 20th percentile making the summer heat tolerable.

When Davis is Hot it's Hot.  Prague more or less so.
(per above)

"Yes, but ours is a dry heat," Davisites justify.

Note how wide our daily temperature spread is compared to Prague's. Davis routinely looses 30° day to night in summer--Prague less than 20°. Of course it's a HOT day in Cz when the thermometer reaches the 70s!

Temp chart comparing Davis to Prague
Davis reds - Prague blues
(shows average high / median / low temps)

Capital Ideas:
The 14th century was Prague's Golden Age. At that time it was one of Europe's largest and most cultured cities. During this period Prague built St. Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge, and established the first University in Central Europe (Charles University in 1348).

Click to watch 550k animation.
(Watch sunset over Prague 550k)
Meanwhile, Indigenous Californians did not consider 14th Century Eurocentrism--period. They'd never heard of Europe.
3 centuries later, Sacramento became the state capital (1854).
In 1905 Davis became home to California's first Central Valley university.
Bridges to the Past: Three Famous Spans
Karlův Most“ (Charles Bridge) is Prague's most familiar monument. Built by Bohemian King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV beginning in 1357, the bridge construction lasted 45 years.  Its mortar is said to contain eggs for strength. Cars used the bridge until 1974. Now only special vehicles may, e.g. President Clinton was driven across it.
                                           (click image right for visual tour of bridge)
click Charles Bridge picture to see larger views
The Golden Gate Bridge has enough steel wires in its cables to circle the earth at the equator 3.5 times. It is so big workers paint the bridge year round starting over as soon as they finish.
Charles Bridge is stone.  No paint needed or wanted, ever!
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was ordered built by Emperor Norton 1, on August 18th, 1869.  It is nearly three times as long as the longest bridge in the world. Its Yerba Buena Island Tunnel is the largest diameter bore in the world (65'w by 52'h) and could accommodate a four-story building standing upright.
The bridge is rightfully known (to cognoscenti) as The Emperor Norton Bridge or Empire Bridge. Should anyone tell you that's wrong, they're not one of us.
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Food 'n Drink
Foody Fact:
The latest Czech record for the most dumplings (knedliky) eaten in half-an-hour is 57. We serve 2 or 3 per plate at Little Prague and customers find that way filling!
Cultural Considerations:
Czechs used to think of eating out at a restaurant as a special event--not the casual routine Americans consider it. That's changing, however. Even so, when a server comes to take orders in Czech Rep., drinks (esp. Becherovka and the like) will customarily be presumed to follow the meal rather than accompany it (let alone precede it), as most Californian establishments encourage.

So, if you're in very traditional Czech eatery, you must request a before dinner drink to get one. Your server won't presume to ask, even today.
Which brings us to table etiquette, Czechs expect people to eat European style [knife always in right hand, fork in left--no switching]. Not doing so is evidence of either being a tourist or lack of sophistication.

And not that we do this at Little Prague, but food courses are traditionally served in the following order: soup, main entrée, salad, dessert.
Finally, here's an interesting quirk to round out our list of cultural behaviors. As common as it was in America's pre-feminist era (not that it's yet post), Czechs still generally considered it good manners to open the door for a woman to allow her to enter a building first... unless it's a restaurant!! Etiquette still dictates the man enters a restaurant ahead of the woman. Go figure!

Korbel Wines:  A CzechoCalifornia Success Story

The Korbel brothers emigrated from Bohemia in the mid-19th century. In 1882 they established their successful Champagnery / Winery / Brandy Distillery in the Russian River region of Northern California.

Note1: Korbel means "goblet, drinking cup" in Czech. Perfect, eh?
Note2: The Russians who settled the area first called the river Slavianka which
            means Slavic woman.  


The Zinfandel Enigma:  Does Puzzle have Czech Exegesis?

The Question: Where did the Zinfandel grape come from?
A new best guess:  Czech Republic or thereabouts.

Genetic research at UCDavis in cooperation with Mike Grgich (of Grgich Hills Vineyard) failed to establish Croatia's claim that the  Mali Plavac [or plavic mali] grape variety is the progenitor.  It was found extremely similar, but genetically different.
So now CZ's cinifádl [or Zierfahndler] grape must be considered.

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Expensive Brew:
In the Czech Republic, beer is cheaper than Coke. A half liter at the local pub cost 30¢ (7-8 CzK) while a half liter of Coke costs 85¢ (21 CzK).
Or they did last time we Czeched.  ;-)
(Click foto for info)
view our Czech Fall Fest page

Beer Rules!  Czechs Champs!
Czech proverb:  Blessed is the mother who gives birth to a brewer.

Czech males are the biggest beer consumers in the world. A Czech man, Honza Zampa, holds the record for downing one liter of beer in 4.11 seconds!

Czechs pride themselves as the world's largest per capita beer drinkers, consuming 41.5 gallons (157 liters) per person in 2003.

Beer is called "Liquid Bread" by Czechs and is consumed in that manner.
And when do Czechs drink beer?
Some have a beer with hearty soup for breakfast. Beer usually accompanies lunch...  After work (and before and during)...  With dinner...  Actually, when don't they?!

Beer Duels: Californians Chumps?
The United States ranks 11th among nations in per capita beer consumption. Our annual per capita beer consumption is "only" 23.95 gallons.

California consumes the most beer, but only due to our huge population. In fact we rank 16th among the states in consumption, imbibing 19.5 gal./yr.

[New Hampshire is 1st;  Nevada 2nd. Neither of which is a fun fact for us.]

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Christmas Customs:
On 6 December children are visited by a Devil and/or Angel and/or St. Mikoláš. A good kid gets small gifts, candy or fruit.  A bad child is threatened to be taken away by the devil in his sack. The Angel or St. Mik can intercede on the child's behalf.

Bad children receive a potato or piece of coal in their stocking from "Old Nick."

Devil with bag of coal (uhlí)
Carp is a must for Christmas dinner. They are bought live and kept alive (in the
bathtub if necessary) until prepared. On the second day of the Christmas Holiday:
turkey, goose, duck, or wild rabbit is traditionally served.

Easter Customs:
Exquisitely hand decorated eggs are made to be given as gifts.

A boy may make a „pomlaská" of braided willow twigs in hopes of garnering decorative ribbons from girls to attach to it.
However, a girl might choose to throw a bucket of cold water at an annoying young man rather than yield a ribbon.  [For more details ask a Czech or do a web search. This is not a "PC" game in any Californian sense and we're going no further into its nasty little secrets. Bet you're curious now!]

Hand decorated Easter Eggs link to Pomlaskas

(Click to see pomlaskás.)

It's very important to wear a new item of clothing on Easter.  Not doing so is the
equivalent of "stepping in it."

Mushroom Hunting:  a Czech National Passion!
Every year on St. Václav Day weekend [weekend closest to 28 Sept.], thousands of Czechs go to the forests in search of the special Václavky mushroom.

Czechs generally take mushroom hunting as seriously as they do other recognized
sports. No! They consider mushrooming more important than sports.  They are
extremely competitive fungi finders.  Do not even think about jumping another
Czech's fungus claim!
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