From lake to festive plate

The common carp may not be highly regarded in some parts of the world but most people in the Czech Republic, with a population of about 10.5 million, cannot imagine Christmas without it.

In the country and other nearby nations, the fish is part of the Christmas dinner.

The annual carp harvest starts in late October, with fishermen catching the fish using traditional methods.

The carp are kept alive in tanks - seen here as a fisherman throws a fish into one during the traditional carp haul in the village of Smrzov, near the town of Trebon - until the festive season, when they are typically fried.

Czechs and Slovaks eat the fried carp with bramborovy salat, or potato salad. Legend has it that the carp brings luck, one of the reasons it is said to have become the Christmas meal of choice.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2015, with the headline 'From lake to festive plate'. Print Edition | Subscribe