Charity Advent Market brings Christmas spirit to Prague

Among the Advent events that reflect the true spirit of Christmas is the annual Charity Advent Market organized by the Fund Act For Others. Now in its fourth year, the market is organized by international team of dedicated enthusiasts who give it a multicultural flair. A visit to the three day-event at Prague’s Mala Strana will bring you joy ahead of Christmas and enable the fund to help the needy. I spoke to founder and event manager of Act for Others Melanie Schilling about what the market, which opens at the Maltese Palace on Friday, will offer visitors.

Charity Advent Market 2016, photo: archive of Fund Act For OthersCharity Advent Market 2016, photo: archive of Fund Act For Others “We will offer very many things - wooden Christmas decorations you can hang on your Christmas tree, we have a lot of glass products and jewellery, lots of fabricts, self-printed, nice stationary and Christmas postcards and there will be a rich program for children. There will be a big tent in the garden with special activities for children, reading, a clown who will entertain the children, they can try various crafts, paint on porcelain or things like that that they can take home and give it as a present for Christmas. And we have food stalls of course, wine, beer and soft drinks.”

When you say food – is it international cuisine?

“Yes, it is. In the palace itself there is a French restaurant called Café de Paris and they will offer crepes, we will have really good grilled sausages from Saxony, there will be Italian food…whatever you like to eat you will find something to suit your taste. But it is not a food festival – so there will be good food but it is not our main aim. The music programme is incredible this year. We have a lot of jazz musicians, there is one guy, 27-years-old from Germany who got an award in Montreux two and a half years ago, we have jazz musicians from Eastern Europe, we have a Bavarian group dancing this typical Schuhplattler dance and a charity concert on Saturday night in the church, where there will be a concert of classical music and we will have a famous mezzo-soprano from the Czech Republic, so we are very proud of that.”

Charity Advent Market 2016, photo: archive of Fund Act For OthersCharity Advent Market 2016, photo: archive of Fund Act For Others This market has a very worthy cause. Can you tell us what it is?

“Well, our name says it all –Act for Others. We are organizing this market to collect money and to support social projects. One is a project from the Order of Malta, because we are guests in their house and that is to help the homeless and our own project is called Sdruzeni Neratov, a village north-east of Prague built up with the help of and for disabled people. They have schools and workshops where they create things. And they will be at the market too. They will have a table where they will sell things which they created themselves.”