Concrete barriers have gone up in parts of the Czech capital to boost
security at sites holding Easter markets. Barriers preventing entry by
trucks or vans, which could potentially be used in terrorist attacks, went
up at the start of Opletalova Street.
Barriers have already been up long-term on Prague’s Old Town Square.
Compulsory lessons in metalwork and other crafts are set to return to Czech
elementary schools, iRozhlas.cz reported on Wednesday. “Practical
studies” should make a comeback to school curriculums within two years
after agreement was reached between the prime minister in resignation,
Andrej Babiš, and representatives of trades organisations, the news
Mr. Babiš said the lack of apprentices in the Czech Republic was a major problem for the economy, which is facing a labour shortage, and that his ANO party had long been in favour of dual education, which combines class work and on-the-job training.
Masopust celebrations have been held in various parts of Prague. The annual
carnival in which many people dress up in masks and costumes was marked on
Saturday in districts including Letná and Karlín. Next week the Mardi
Gras-like celebrations will take place in Malá Strana, Žižkov and other
parts of the city.
Masopust has traditionally occurred between the Epiphany (January 6) and Ash Wednesday, when the pre-Easter Lenten period begins.
During the Christmas period and the New Year, the Czech capital attracts hundreds of thousands many of whom want to experience classic Prague over the holidays: mulled wine, romantic walks and more. The same is being appreciated this year, of course, but Prague City Tourism is also putting an emphasis on new hip districts with new eateries, cafes, galleries and other sites people also might want to visit.
In his Christmas message to the nation, President Miloš Zeman highlighted the country’s economic successes, telling Czechs they had much to be proud of. As regards the country’s political future, Miloš Zeman ruled out early elections, telling politicians they would have to play the cards they had been dealt in the elections.
One of the staples of Czech Christmas, along with fried carp, Christmas cookies and fairy tales, is Jakub Jan Ryba’s Christmas Mass. The mass composed by a small-town teacher in 1796 has become the most popular piece of Czech Christmas music ever written. It is performed in churches, concert halls and resounds in millions of Czech homes during the Christmas season. So on Christmas Eve, we would like to share this musical experience with you and have selected a 1998 recording that has been hailed as the best recording of the Czech Christmas Mass
The Czech Christmas Mass was performed for the 17th year in succession at
Prague’s busy Main Train Station on Saturday afternoon. Musicians and
choir members were joined by scores of members of the public in a rendition
of the pastoral mass by composer Jan Jakub Ryba.
Dozens of choristers were conducted by the organiser of the pre-Christmas event, Lukáš Prchal. The composition, known colloquially as “Rybovka”, was also performed with public participation on Kampa, beneath Prague’s Charles Bridge.
Imported fir trees from Poland are taking an increasing share of the
Christmas tree market in the Czech Republic, forcing prices down, iDnes.cz
A representative of the Association of Christmas Tree Cultivators told the news website that large growers from Denmark had established new plantations in Poland some years back and the trees were now ready for sale.
Firs have long been the most popular Christmas trees in the Czech Republic, winning out over spruce and pine trees. However, if Czechs are keen to buy local the latter should be easier to find, iDnes.said.
This time of year, cities in Central Europe are vying to attract tourists to their Christmas markets, New Year's Eve celebrations, and other seasonal attractions. If you are tired of large crowds and are looking for something more authentic, we might have a tip for you: leave the big cities and head for one of the small towns deep in the Czech countryside. You may get a lesson in living history and even be in for an exotic surprise!
Few people know that Good King Wenceslas, one of the best-known Christmas carols in the English-speaking world sung on the Feast of Saint Stephen, refers to a Bohemian duke who ruled in the 10th century. Good King Wenceslas is none other than St. Václav, the patron saint of the Czech nation. Paradoxically, the carol is almost unknown in this country.
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