Christmas Markets – November 27, 2010 until January 2011
The Prague Christmas Markets are a key part of the magic in Prague at this time of year. The main markets are located in the Old Town Square and Wencelas Square, and you’ll find smaller collections of stalls in other squares around the city. Visitors can enjoy hot wine and medovina (a hot alcoholic honey drink), warm food and Christmas carols. The stalls offer beautiful and traditional Czech products including wooden toys, Bohemia crystal and Christmas tree ornaments. There‘s also a selection of sheep, goats and even a lama for you to pet in the Old Town Square!
St. Nicholas Day – December 5, 2010
If you’re in Prague on this day, beware. You may run into a group of St. Nicholas lookalikes, accompanied by an angel and a devil walking around town, asking children if they have been good or bad. Good kids are expected to sing a song or recite a poem and then they are rewarded by candy. Bad kids are put in the devil’s sack and taken to hell. What a relief for the parents! In small villages, St. Nicholas and co. would come to people’s homes and scare kids for the year to come. The St. Nicholas tradition is supposedly based on a 4th century Greek bishop named Nicholas who is believed to have left a gift of money on the windowsill of three poor girls - to allow them to get married. Far from the devil and his sack!
The Frames – December 6, 2010
The amazing Irish musician Glen Hansard calls Prague his other home and comes back regularly. Usually it’s with the Czech singer Marketa Irglova, the co-writer of the song Falling Slowly. This tune won them the Oscar for best title song in 2008. In December he’s bringing The Frames – his rock band who have just regrouped after a three-year break. They‘re celebrating their 20-year anniversary with this tour and they’ve picked Prague as the spot for their only gig in central Europe. Tickets are 875 CZK and are available through Ticketpro offices.
Metropolis – Until December 31, 2010
The Metropolis exhibition of Czech street art and graffiti has returned home after success at the 2010 Expo in Shanghai. You now have a chance to se it at the DOX Center of Contemporary Art. The artists who are part of the exhibition are Cryptic 257, Masker, Pasta, Point Skarf and Tron, and they‘ve all been around for about 15 years. For Metropolis they have created a city existing in their imagination. Playing with dimension, reality and dream, they depict a fantastical and fascinating version of the future. Entrance to the DOX Gallery is 180 CZK and 90 CZK for students.
Beatlemania! – until January 2011
This exhibition in the Czech Museum of Music in Prague 1 has two parallel storylines – one follows the story of The Beatles from the very start through to the height of their fame and then the split. The other is devoted to the lives and musical production of the band members after the split, and there’s even a third all about the lifestyle of the 60’s and the influence that the Beatles had, not only through their music, but also through their personal lives. A seperate storyline reflects the life of young people in the former Czechoslovakia at the time. You can see what the official and unofficial culture, music and fashion looked like. The focus is all about the start of bigbeat and hippies in Czechoslovakia and the reaction of the communist establishment. Entrance is 120 CZK, 60 CZK for students.
‐ Kristýna Svobodová