The other day we received one of the Czech Christmas cards which said “P.F. 2008“. I read it, smiled, and didn’t give another thought to it. My husband – American – asked me what did the “P.F.” stand for. “Oh, it means…. (30 seconds of silence)”. I didn’t have an answer! Out of pure embarrassment I immediately got on the internet and started a fearless search. I happened to find this great Czech website (ceske-tradice.com) which answered my question and put my soul to rest. And now – for those who are as ignorant as I was – I am going to put your souls to rest as well! Basically, “P.F.” stands for “Pour feliciter” or “For good luck” and it was invented by a Czech count Karel Chotek, who “ in 1827 got out of an uncomfortable situation of accepting visitors all day long by writing polite notes to them. Those notes usually consisted of words of apology followed by wishes of good luck. They also included a nice picture.” And I learned another thing. Do you know why is the Czech New Year called “Silvestr“? The last day of the year has been given to the former pope Silvestr the First. At first, this day was not connected with any kind of celebrating ceremonies, that started to happened much later – around 16th century (and from then on it went downhill 🙂 ).
What are you doing for New Year? I am going to bake the Vanocka (i.e. see my Recipe category). The Czech tradition says to mix a coin in the dough so that whoever receives it in his slice will become rich in the next year…Let’s which one of my family members will be the lucky one!
CZ: Vcera nam doslo jedno z ceskych novorocnich prani s napisem “P.F. 2008”. Muj manzel – American – se me zeptal co to “P.F.” znamena a ja jsem se vam uplne zakoktala….nedokazala jsem mu odpovedet! Za mou nevedomost jsem se velmi zastydela a hned jsem toto tema zacala serfovat na internetu. Behem meho sbesileho hledani jsem nasla skvele stranky, ktere se nazyvaji “ceske-tradice.cz”, ktere me ignoranstvi osvetlily. PF znamena Pour feliciter, nebo-li Pro stesti. Vynalezcem techto PF novorocenek byl cesky slechtic hrabe Karel Chotek, “ktery vyklouzl v roce 1827 z nepríjemné situace s elegancí sobe vlastní tak, že místo aby prijímal zdvorilostní návštevy od rána do vecera, zacal rozesílat blahoprejné lístky. Ríkalo se jim omluvenky a zdobil je hezký obrázek.”
Proc se nas Novy Rok vlastne nazyva Silvestr? Posledni den roku byl (a stale je) totiz zasvecen papezi Silvestru I. ( podle ceskeho kalendare ma take 31.prosince svatek Silvestr). Zprvu tento den nebyl spojeny s zadnymy oslavami; novorocni veselice se stala soucasti tohoto dne az v prubehu 16. stoleti.
A co budete delat vy na Silvestra? Ja budu pect Vanocku, do ktere podle ceske tradice tajne zapecu peniz (tedy tady asi “quarter”) a vidime, kdo si ho z nasi rodiny si ho naserviruje a v pristim roce zbohatne….
http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/SilvestrIf you liked this post buy me a coffee! (Suggested:$3 a latte $8 for a pound) Thanks!