In today’s special Christmas edition of Sunday music show, we’ll be listening a live recording of a concert featuring the Moravian folk rock band Hradišťan and Spirituál kvintet, a band playing mostly American spiritual and gospel music. The album, entitled Christmas Concert, brings a mixture of spiritual, secular, classical and folk songs from across the centuries and regions, including early Czech music, songs by Czech baroque composer Adam Michna z Otradovic or Bohuslav Martinů as well as traditional American spirituals, such as such as What
In what has become an annual tradition, politicians served carp soup to the public on Prague’s Wenceslas and Old Town squares on Dec. 24. Originally the soup, which is part of the traditional Christmas meal, was intended for the homeless, but with growing interest from the public it became something of a social event with scores of people turning up to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere at the two main Christmas markets. Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová and Prague 1 mayor Oldřich Lomecký served over 3,000 portions of the traditional Christmas soup which is made with cognac and caramel. The event took place amid heightened security.
Over the years many Christmas programmes on Radio Prague have been dedicated to the Czech festive cuisine but there are still specialties which have been somewhat neglected and which definitely deserve more attention. Among them vánočka or Christmas sweet bread. In today’s programme we’ll be looking at this traditional type of pastry. For that I’m joined by translator Lucie Mikolajková, a mother of two and also a fine cook, who will show me how it is made.
Visitors to the Czech Republic as well as locals should be warned that stores larger than 200 square metres will close at noon on December 24 and remain closed for two days after that. A new law which has come into effect aims to make the Christmas period less about commerce and more about the holiday spirit, allowing people to slow down and spend time with their families. The flip-side is that there has been a greater rush at large stores in the run-up. This week, there was no shortage of long lines at many major retailers.
Jakub Jan Ryba’s Czech Christmas Mass is undoubtedly one of the symbols of Czech Christmas, along with fried carp and Christmas cookies. Composed by a small-town teacher in 1796, the pastoral mass has become the most popular piece of Czech Christmas music ever written. At this time of the year it resounds in churches and concert halls across the country, but also beyond its borders. Recently, the Czech Christmas Mass premiered in Tokyo.
Prague zoo is offering the chance to see a golden pig on Christmas Eve without having to fast for the whole day. The zoo is preparing a series of Christmas period treats. On Christmas Eve children will be allowed into the zoo for just one crown. A special feeding and exercise session of sea lions is also scheduled. The golden pig as well as a polar bear should also be on show. Visitors are also being encouraged to bring in special treats for the animals for Christmas day. These could be dried or fresh fruit, nuts, or biscuits. The legend of the golden pig is party of Czech Christmas lore. It’s said that those who fast on Christmas Eve will see a golden pig. The tradition is said to date back to pre-Christian times. The zoo will be open but with more limited visiting hours over the whole Christmas period.
We've just arrived, with about 25 fellow passengers, by coach from Plzeň in the Czech Republic, and we are now in the tiny German village of Friedrichshäng. It lies just on the Czech border, deep in the Bavarian Forest – or Bayerischer Wald – with Český les forest on the Czech side. We’re going to an annual event organised by locals as well as the Centrum Bavaria Bohemia, which is based in a town called Schönsee just a couple of kilometres west of here. The transportation is provided by the Centre as part of its “Cesta za kulturou” programme, or
The US Embassy in Prague chose an original way of wishing Czechs Merry Christmas this year. It posted a video on its web page showing embassy employees singing one of the best loved Czech Christmas carols Půjdem spolu do Betléma –We will go to Bethlehem Together –in the original. The video starts with Cultural Attaché Erin Kotheimer and Ray Castillo, Counselor for Public Affairs breaking into song and other employees joining in as they walk around the US residence. At the end Ambassador Andrew Schapiro joins them to wish Czechs a Merry Christmas on behalf of all the staff.
It’s unlikely to be a white Christmas across most of the Czech Republic according to forecasters. They expect daytime temperatures to hover just above zero but freezing during the night. Temperatures are expected to get colder at the start of January which is expected to be the coldest period during the next four weeks according to the national weather centre. Many ski resorts currently complain they lack sufficient snow.
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