Christmas in the Czech lands – a magical time for children and adults

English: Nativity scenes in Sanok
English: Nativity scenes in Sanok (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas in the Czech lands – a magical time for children and adults

Christmas in the Czech Republic is one of the best times of the year. The streets of towns big and small are bedecked with yuletide decorations and town squares come alive with the hustle and bustle of Christmas markets. Old folk Christmas traditions are revived at open-air museums and children and adults alike stop at the sight of well-crafted figures in nativity scenes with delight in their eyes. Christmas and Advent music can be heard in concert halls, churches, castles and chateaux. A Czech Christmas is above all a time of cheer and friendship so accept our invitation and spend the festive season with us.

The appearance of St Nicholas means Christmas is on its way. While for adults the period leading up to Christmas is like no time at all, children impatiently count off the days on the Advent calendar. This agonizing wait for their Christmas presents is alleviated somewhat by the arrival of St Nicholas, who visits every child in the country on the eve of St Nicholas day December 5. This august figure is traditionally accompanied by an angel and a demon. He may scare the children a bit, but his main task is to give them some small gifts, fruit and sweets. This will be the scene on Charles Square in Třebíč ( Christmas markets will be taking place in this UNESCO-listed town December 19 and 20.

The Czechs’ distinctive nativity scenes
The story of Jesus’ birth has always been an inspiration for the creators of nativity scenes. These are made of various materials including wood, ceramics, paper and even gingerbread. Some of the nativity scenes you will discover in the Czech Republic are some of the finest in the world and can be found in churches, museums and open-air museums. The museum in Jindřichův Hradec ( houses the largest mechanical scenes in the world – the Krýza Nativity Scene. It took the creator more than 60 years to complete this gargantuan undertaking which holds almost 1400 figures! In Třebechovice pod Orebem ( the villagers have even created a Nativity Scene Museum housing nativity scenes from across the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Their most valuable exhibit is the Třebechovice mechanical nativity scene. The prized possession at the Nativity Scene Museum in Karlštejn ( is the Karlštejn royal nativity scene containing figures representing Czech kings. And be sure not to miss the museum’s exhibition of gingerbread nativity scenes.

Music for Christmas and Advent
Czech classical music is some of the world’s finest cultural heritage and there can be no better Christmas present for fans than special concerts of music for Christmas and Advent which take place at concert halls, markets, churches, castles and chateaux. These will often feature the Czech Christmas Mass called ‘Hej mistře, vstaň bystře’ composed by Jakub Jan Ryba at the end of the 18th century. This year it will be performed twice by the Prague State Opera ( December 25 and 26. Concerts of organ music with a Christmas theme will also take place December 25 until January 6, 2007 at the Basilica of St James in the Old Town ( The popularity of music specially written for Advent and Christmas can be seen from the number of festivals taking place.

 Alphonse Maria Mucha, Moravia FAMILY czech-republic christmas angel

My father’s grandparents were from Vsetine, Moravia, and they emigrated in 1892 to Texas.

Leroy Eugene “Lee” Frederick
Birth:  Mar. 6, 1926
Harris County
Texas, USA
Death:  Nov. 16, 2006
Houston County
Texas, USA 

“Services for Leroy Eugene Frederick 80, of Grapeland,Houston County, Texas will be at 1 p.m. Monday at Liberty Hill United Methodist Church with Tommy Hutto officiating. Daddy & Barbara resided in Percilla, Houston County, Texas. Burial will follow in Augusta Cemetery under the direction of Bailey & Foster, of Grapeland. Mr. Frederick died Thursday at East Texas Medical Center in Crockett. Condolence calls will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Bailey & Foster Funeral Home, Grapeland, Texas.” [Palestine Herald-Press Nov 18,2006]Leroy was raised Catholic as all his sisters and brothers were. They attended the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in Crosby, Harris County, Texas. Later in his life he was baptized as Methodist. He helped build the Liberty Hill Methodist Church, in Liberty Hill, Williamson County, Texas.

Leroy was the son of Charlie & Bessie (Mazac) Frederick of Crosby, Harris County, Texas. His ancestors emigrated from Moravia in 1892. He had two sisters, Agnes Rainnie “Renie” (Frederick) Christ and Juanita “Punkin” (Frederick)Christ, both of them resided on Talcott Road, Houston, Harris County, Texas 77049.
He had two brothers, Charles and Woodrow Frederick, who preceded him in death.

Leroy married to first wife, Jean Marie Linderman, 15 Nov. 1947. They had six children by that union, which lasted for twenty one years. Joseph Lee, Phyllis Jean [Hyden], Sally Ann [Tudor], Karl Thomas, Patricia Marie[Harrod], and Sarah Kay Frederick [Moore]. Divorced in 1968.

Leroy married Barbara Moore Faulk in 15 Sept. 1969, in Dayton, Texas. She called him Lee.

Barbara had two children, Jeanna and Joey Faulk, from a previous marriage.

Leroy & Barbara had no children from that marriage, which lasted for thirty seven years.

Leroy served in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard Merchant Marine supply ships for troops. He served in the U.S. Navy from Jan. 1944, until May 18, 1946. He was shipped out to San Diego, California.

Military Service Records show:
[Frederick, Leroy Eugene, service number was 5772117, Seaman 1C, V-6 USNR, Sheldon, Texas.] He was Honorably discharged. He was sent back to Camp Wallace, TX. after World War II ended.

Daddy worked for Brown & Root, Inc, 4100 Clinton Drive, Houston, Texas for [46] forty six years. Started out as a Mechanic’s helper, and retired as Asst. Supt. of the Automotive Dept.

Leroy & Barbara (Moore) Frederick were hosts for several different parks in Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, etc… after their retirement. In 1995, all the Grandchildren were taken by Leroy’s son, Joseph Frederick & Brenda (Meyers) Frederick, to visit them in South Dakota & Montana.

Leroy was a loving and loyal Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Great-Grandfather. He is greatly missed!
I am proud to be the daughter of such an honorable and hard working man. 

Family links:
  Charles F Frederick (1892 – 1947)
  Elizabeth Annie Mazac Frederick (1895 – 1977)
  Jean Marie Linderman Mancill (1927 – 2012)

Augusta Cemetery
Houston County
Texas, USA
Created by: TEXAS TUDORS
Record added: Aug 21, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21070006
Leroy Eugene Lee Frederick
Leroy Eugene Lee Frederick

My Paternal Moravian Great Grandmother, Annie Marie “Mary” (Dudika) Mazac

John & Mary Mazac, Granger, Texas, c.1904

Jan “John” Mazac and Annie Marie “Mary” (Dudika) Mazac family, Granger, Texas, c. 1920’s

Birth:  Apr. 2, 1862

 Mala Bystrici, Novy Jiovin, Moravia

Death:  Mar. 21, 1939
Williamson County
Texas, USA 
My Paternal Great Grandmother, Daughter of Tomas “Tom” Dudika (also known as Dudik) & Evy “Eve” (Chlevestanove) Dudika of Mala Bystrici, Novy Jiovin, Moravia.

Wife of Jan “John” Mazac, Mother of 21 children.
Emigrated on 19 January 1892 from Moravia to Ellis Island, New York, New York. Moved to Texas to meet her husband, John Mazac.


Settled in Granger, Taylor, and Corn Hill, Williamson County, Texas areas. 

Children: Rosalie, Albert, Anton, Andrew, Joe #1, Steve, Johnnie, Robert Albert, Frank, Johnny #2, Marie, Elizabeth Annie (Bessie), Emma, Effie, Baby (sex unknown), John Joseph, Alberta “Bertha”, Olga, Frank Joseph, and Vlasta Mary Mazac.

Loving wife, Mother, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother.
Hardworking Czech-Moravian, farmer’s wife, and a devout Catholic. Member of the SPJST. 

Member of the St.Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church in Granger, Williamson County, Texas. Mary & John Mazac helped build the St. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church, in Granger, Williamson County, Texas.

Note: Burial Information taken from Williamson County Cemetery Book, Vol.1. 

Family links: 
  Tomas Dudika (1842 – 1922)
  Evy Chlevestanove Dudika (1843 – 1925)
  Jan Mazac (1863 – 1931)
  Rozalie Mazac Havelka (1884 – 1949)
  Joe Frank Mazac (1891 – 1959)
  Marie Mazac Motloch (1894 – 1968)
  Elizabeth Annie Mazac Frederick (1895 – 1977)
  Effie Mazac Hurta (1898 – 1979)
  John Jerry Mazac (1899 – 1966)
  Frank Joseph Mazac (1902 – 1990)
  Vlasta Mary Mazac Konecny (1904 – 1999) 

MARIE MAZAC, NAR, CERVEN 2, 1862, which means Born on April 2, 1862, and ZEM, BREZNA 21, 1939
(which means Born on April 2, 1862, and ZEM, BREZNA 21, 1939), which is Czech for Died on March 21, 1939.

Holy Cross Cemetery 
Williamson County
Texas, USA 

Created by: TEXAS TUDORS
Record added: Aug 21, 2007 
Find A Grave Memorial# 21074105


Grandpa & Grandma Mazac, Grandma & Grandpa Kovar, & Uncle Joe Hurta (in back)

(from right to left) Grandpa “Jan” & Grandma “Marie” Mazac, “Emilie” & “John” Kovar, & Uncle Joe Hurta (in back), Granger, Williamson County, Texas, c. 1920’s.

Juanita Elizabeth “Punkin” (Frederick) Christ, Annie Marie “Mary” (Dudika) Mazac, and Agnes Renie (Frederick) Christ, Granger, Williamson County, Texas, c. 1918.


[first arrow in back row is my Grandmother], Bessie Annie Mazac, [second arrow in back is my Great Grandfather], Jan “John” Mazac, and [third arrow and sitting in chair is my Great Grandmother], Annie Marie “Mary” (Dudika) Mazac in Granger, Williamson County, Texas, c. 1905. Emigrated from Vsetine, Moravia in June 1892, and arrived August 1892 in Galveston, Galveston County, Texas. They were hardworking farmers who settled in the Granger and Corn Hill, Texas area. (courtesy of the “1995 Mazac Reunion Book” held by Sally Frederick Tudor, Houston, TX.)