Some of the nine presidential candidates will suspend their campaigns during the Christmas holidays, the news agency ČTK reported on Friday. The frontrunner, Jan Fischer, said people should have some time off politics during the upcoming holiday season while Foreign Minster Karel Schwarzenberg will spend Christmas with his family and will resume campaigning in the New Year. Independent candidate Táňa Fischerová said Christmas was a spiritual holiday with no room for politics. Jana Bobošíková and Vladimír Franz also said they would suspend their campaigns until next month.
With Christmas just around the corner, a search is underway in many households’ attics or basements for ornaments that will – in due time – decorate the Christmas tree. In many families, trees will be adorned with the colourful glass globes, spikes, figurines and other baubles whose tradition in the Czech Republic goes back to the times of the Great Depression. In this edition of Marketplace, we follow the story of Ozdoba CZ, one of the oldest Czech producers of glass Christmas ornaments
With Christmas just around the corner the hustle and bustle in Prague’s streets and shops has visibly intensified. Yet behind the bright lights, the ever-present advertisements and Christmas carols the mood is slightly more sober this Christmas, reflecting the deepening recession and bleak outlooks on the job market. Czechs are enjoying the Christmas atmosphere but they are spending less on presents and are far less willing to take out loans for exotic Christmas holidays or buy things on lease as they have been doing for years.
As always in the weeks preceding Christmas, Jews around the world begin the holiday season before their Christian neighbors. The story of Chanukah is not in the sacred texts of the Torah, and those who celebrate it, do so most often at home, eating various foods fried in olive oil, playing games with chocolate Hanukah gelt (chocolate coins), and receiving presents each of the eight nights of the festival. Some, though, prefer to share this holiday of light, as it is called, with others. To see how it is celebrated around Prague, I headed to a creative
The average Czech family are planning to spend around CZK 4,000 (around USD 200) on their Christmas dinner and tree, according to survey conducted by the STEM/MARK agency for the company Home Credit. Three quarters of respondents said they were planning to have a traditional Czech Christmas, spending the festive season with their families and eating carp on the evening of December 24. Over 80 percent of those polled said they planned to buy presents in traditional shops, though an analyst for Home Credit said a surprising number of the over 60s were making purchases online this year.
A Christmas outdoor ice-skating rink opened on Prague’s Ovocný trh, in the city centre on Wednesday. The rink is open from 10 am till 10 pm daily for free and people can rent skates on the spot. The ice-rink has an eleven-year-tradition and is used by around 20,000 people every Christmas. It will remain open until January 6th.
Wednesday evening - Mikuláš – the eve before Saint Nicolas’ Day – is being eagerly awaited by children around the country. Each year on December 5, Saint Nicolas accompanied by an angel and a devil, visits Czech families to see if the children have been good. Kids who were well-behaved receive sweets, chocolate, fruit or a present, while those who were naughty (at least in theory) receive a potato or lump of coal.
The economic recession has curbed the interest in renting and purchasing
traditional costumes of St Nicolas, the angel and the devil donned on the
upcoming holiday of the saint, the news agency ČTK reported. Quoting a
survey among several costume rentals in the capital, the agency said many
people bought their own costumes in the past or only rent the costume of St
Nicolas, rather than the complete trio.
A central European analogy to Santa Claus, St Nicolas accompanied by an angel and a devil brings small gifts to children on the night of December 5, the eve of his holiday.
Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda on Saturday lit a 28-metre-tall Christmas tree in Prague’s Old Town Square, and opened a Christmas market in the square. The spruce, which is around 90-years-old, came from a forest near Rokycany, in western Bohemia. Organizers said tightened security measures were applied at the event which each year attracts thousands of people.
Visitors of the many outdoor Christmas markets around the Czech Republic will not be able to enjoy the traditional rum-based hot drinks like punč and grog this holiday season. The authorities have announced that they will strictly enforce a law prohibiting non-licensed vendors from selling drinks with alcohol content higher than 15 percent. In the past, the police turned a blind eye to such practices at the festive Christmas markets, but following this year’s methanol-crisis which claimed 37 lives, they have decided to take a harder line. The sale of hot drinks will be restricted to mulled wine or tea.
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