Holidays and Christmas in Prague

Prague is the proud capital of the Czech Republic that is one of the most alluring and captivating destinations in the heart of Europe.  It is beautiful and its culture is quite significant in some ways with the traditions that is totally that of Prague’s. 

Holidays in Prague also play some important historical background that   can inform you more about Prague.  There are also some places in Prague that you may want to visit in connection with the holiday that might be particularly being celebrated in that area of Prague.

Some of the Holidays in Prague that can raise the curiosity of one are “Struggle for freedom and Democracy Day”, “The Burning of the Witches”, “Easter” (a different kind), and “Day of Love” (not in February).   The people of Prague are proud about their culture, traditions, and their holidays which others may find rather odd but the Holidays in Prague also molded the people to what they are now.

The “Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day” comes every 17th of November.  On the said day of 1939 a student named Jan Opletal was shot when a group formed a demonstration versus the Nazi occupation.  After that fateful event, the universities were closed by the Nazis and mercilessly persecuted and killed students whom they believed opposed them.

“The Burning of the Witches” might just be the catchiest one of all and happens every 30th of April.  No, they don’t burn real witches on that day in one of the peculiar Holidays in Prague it was just simply named that way and with that is a weird practice in Czech to bid their goodbyes to winter.  Czech used to believe in witches and the witches’ power is stronger when the weather is colder and if they can make things warmer then the power of the witch will weaken.  On the night of 30th of April, the Czechs would prepare a bonfire and a witch’s effigy.  They tend to make it so realistic that they would dress their witch and stuff it with old clothes until the effigy takes form and tie the whole thing to a broomstick and when the darkness fall they would brought the witch out and toss it on the bonfire and as the witch burns it marks the end of the long cold winter. People would gather around the bonfire and roast sausages and share some good songs at the strum of the guitar.  That is one Holidays in Prague that is hard to forget.

The “Easter” in Prague is also called Easter Monday and you guess it, it’s being done on Monday instead of the usual Sunday that most people know.  Boys and men visit in the morning and they have pomlazkas which are willow sticks in braids with ribbons of different colors at the ends keeping it together.  They lightly whip the women and the girls and chase them out of the house that they have visited.  The women and the girls are to give colored eggs to the men and the boys and the custom was really for fertility, another one of the Holidays in Prague that is uniquely their own.

The Czechs celebrate the “Day of Love” every May 1st.  If most nations dedicate the day of love to St. Valentine (hence the name Valentine’s Day), Czech devotes the day to Karel Hynek Macha, the poet of love in Czech.  On the said day, couples usually go to the statue of the poet and give flowers where they would spend some moments in the park when the cherry trees can create some romantic atmosphere with its branches in full bloom.


 

Christmas in Prague is a magical time and December is undoubtedly one of the nicest months of the year in this beautiful city. Christmas markets are up, shop windows are bright and beautiful, Christmas trees adorn the town squares and the early dusk is filled with warm light. People are nicer to each other, the mood is festive. And if all is covered in fresh, white snow, what more can you ask for?

You will see the signs of Christmas approaching as early as October when Czech Christmas ornaments start appearing in shop windows. Around the end of November, Christmas markets open up and a large Christmas tree is erected and lit on the Old Town Square.

The markets start every year four Saturdays before December 24, which is the Christmas Eve, and run until the beginning of January. They are open every day of the week and still they are always busy despite the weather!

Prague Christmas markets are not mainly about the shopping. It is all about the special Christmas atmosphere that is there. The markets offer you not only a great opportunity to buy some unique gifts, but especially the experience of nice traditions that are still alive. They bring the true meaning of Christmas to life.


The most popular markets are on the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square where Christmas items are sold in 70 to 80 stands. Smaller ones are located on Namesti Republiky, Havelske Trziste and Namesti Miru. They are all easily accessible by subway.

The markets themselves consist of traditional wooden chalets that line the market squares and are nicely decorated. You will find there traditional Christmas decorations, holiday items and hand-crafted gifts together with fresh food and drinks. They are usually open from 9am to 7pm.

A Magnificent place to stay right near everything is  HOTEL JEWEL PRAGUE. Originally build as a old bourgeoisie house. Some of the original brickwork from the beginning of 13th century can be found in it’s basement.Over the centuries the house was rebuild many times and therefore many architectural styles can be found here. The gold painted ceiling with the motifs of jewels in the ground floor is very unique and is also heritage listed. This decoration was created at the beginning of the 20th century when a prestigious jeweler come into the building. The repair of the crown jewels of Czech Monarchs was one of his many commissions. Therefore the name – Jewel (U Klenotníka). The whole building was reconstructed and turned into a hotel in 1994. The house kept it’s historical look, but at the same time it is elegantly furnished with modern interior and some art pieces of contemporary artist were installed.

They also offer special packages, like a
Wine Appreciaition package, Girls Getaway package,  and  a Romance gift basket. Jewel Café Bar and Restaurant is connected to the hotel. It  will absorb you with its uniqueness and ambient atmosphere. More than 10,000 crystals will attract your eyes. Sense of smell and taste will be satisfied with our fine modern cuisine. Every two months  a new menu is created  by the chefs. Amazing food – reasonably priced. Check availability and book online! Holiday discounts start  NOV. 21st!

 

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