The weather in the Czech Republic should remain mild until the end of the year, the Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute said in a regular monthly forecast issued on Saturday. Daytime temperatures in the coming week will reach up to 10 degrees Celsius with regular winter weather expected at the beginning of January. The highest levels of precipitation in the next four weeks can be expected at Christmas, the forecasters said.
Dreams of a white Christmas in the Czech Republic look like they will remain just that. Weather forecasters in their first appraisal have given the chances of snow on Christmas Day at just 20 percent. Chances of snow on higher ground are estimated at around 20 to 40 percent higher. In the past five years the Christmas temperatures have often hovered above freezing point. The last Prague Christmas with snow was 2010.
The tiny post office in the West Bohemian mountain town of Boží Dar – meaning God’s gift –is snowed under with mail from around the country and abroad, Czech Television reported. The post office annually stamps hundreds of thousands of Christmas greetings with a special Christmas stamp, making these letters a popular collector’s item for the sender and recipient. It is also the post office to which Czech children send letters to Baby Jesus or Ježísek telling him what they’d most like to get for Christmas. In the course of December the post with its four employees gets on average 15 kilograms of mail a day. Last Christmas it processed 358 kilograms of mail, with some letters from Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
Lights on the traditional Christmas tree on Prague’s Old Town Square will be turned on Saturday, City Hall has revealed, but said the exact time would not be given to avoid large crowds. The decision was taken on Monday after a meeting with the emergency services. Last week, the media reported there would be no traditional ceremony at all following the recent attacks in Paris – something which organisers immediately denied.
The Christmas tree that will adorn Prague’s Old Town Square during the festive season was felled by national champion lumberjack Jiří Vorlíček in Česká Lípa, north Bohemia on Sunday. The 23-metre spruce is set to reach the capital on Tuesday. It will be lit on Saturday, marking the launch of the city’s Christmas markets, and remain in place until January 6.
In Magazine: the state spends 230 million crowns inefficiently to make the civil service more efficient, a group of musicians from Benin end up in detention on suspicion of being illegal migrants, an English language teacher is sacked for letting her class watch 50 Shades of Grey and half of Czechs believe they are underpaid.
Stepped up Czech police checks for suspicious looking illegal immigrants had an unfortunate result in the east Moravian town of Uherské Hradiště. A group of 11 foreigners from the West African state of Benin were taken into police custody after they were found without papers. It later emerged that they were from a group taking part in the famous International Folk Festival at nearby Strážnice who had gone on an excursion and left their papers in the hotel. The festival organisers intervened to arrange their release.
The Czech Cabinet on Wednesday backed a proposal to make Good Friday a state holiday in the country. The move, if approved by both houses of parliament, would put the largely atheistic country in line with neighbouring Slovakia, Austria, and Germany. The original proposal to make Good Friday a holiday stemmed from the junior government party, the Christian Democrats. The Czech Republic currently has 13 state holidays although these sometimes fall at weekends and thus deprive employees of a well deserved day off. Backing for the new holiday has already been given by most major political parties with the exception of the communists. The holiday was ended during the early years of the former communist regime in the 1950s.
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