In what has become an annual tradition, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib and
other City Hall officials served carp soup to the public on Prague’s Old
Town Square on Monday.
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.
Carp soup and other Christmas specialties will also be served on Old Town Square on December 24 between 11am and 1pm and at the bottom end of Wenceslas Square at midday.
Hundreds of people packed Prague’s main railway station on Monday for the
traditional performance of Jakub Jan Ryba’s Christmas Mass, the most
popular piece of Czech Christmas music ever written which resounds in
millions of households during the festive season.
The tradition, launched 19 years ago by conductor Lukáš Prchal, involves musicians and professional singers, but anyone who has a musical instrument or a passion for music can come and join in the performance or simply enjoy the music.
In a commemorative ceremony marking 30 years since the fall of the Iron
Curtain, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček and Bavarian State
Minister of Finance and Home Affairs Albert Furacker symbolically cut
through a small stretch of the Iron Curtain left for posterity at the
Rozvadov -Waidhaus Czech-German border crossing.
The ceremony was reminiscent of the occasion when foreign ministers Hans Dietrich Genscher and Jiri Dienstbier cut through the barbed wire of the Iron Curtain in the tumultuous days of 1989, reuniting the long-divided nations.
At the ceremony Foreign Minister Petříček spoke about how much damage the isolation of Czechoslovakia had caused and how many people had lost their lives at the Iron Curtain trying to flee to freedom.
Czechs' biggest concerns relate to migration, their health and the
state of the environment, according to an end-of-year poll conducted by the
While fears relating to migration have been dropping –from 31 percent in 2016 to 21 percent in 2019 – fears relating to the environment are growing. While in 2016 a mere 2 percent of respondents voiced this concern, this year it was 19 percent. 19 percent of respondents are also concerned about their health.
Other concerns include fear of a terrorist attack, family problems and problems at work.
Benešov hospital in central Bohemia which was hit by a cyberattack a
fortnight ago is slowly returning to normal with all departments, with the
exception of the internal medicine department, now admitting patients.
The attack paralyzed the institution for days since staff were unable to use x-rays, ultrasound or laboratory instruments and could not exchange information with other hospitals. Police specialists are still investigating the ransomware attack.
President Miloš Zeman will make his traditional Christmas address to the nation on Thursday, December 26th at 1pm CET, his spokesman Jiří Ovčáček confirmed on Twitter on Monday. The presidential address, which is a an assessment of the past year and a look into the future, will be broadcast live by the country’s public broadcasters as well as the commercial TV stations NOVA and Barrandov.
December 24 is expected to be one of the warmest on record since monitoring
began, according to the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute.
Afternoon temperatures are expected to reach eight degrees Celsius and more which would place it among the ten warmest days at this time of year since regular meteorological measurements commenced at Prague's Klementinum observatory in 1752.
The warmest December 24th ever recorded was in 2012 when temperatures in Prague reached 12.7 degrees Celsius.
A carillon concert is to take place on the Vltava River on Monday night,
within the city’s Christmas celebrations. The mobile carillon was made by
Petr Rudolf Manousek, a descendant of an old family of Czech bell-founders.
The hour long performance by the Dutch carillon player Rosemarie Seuntiëns titled Roaming Bells will take place on a boat just off Charles Bridge starting at 7.30 pm.
The police are reported to have arrested two Spaniards and one Czech
national caught smuggling 1,500 kilograms of cocaine on a sailboat off the
According to the news site La Provincia, the police raided the boat some 140 kilometres from Gran Canaria, confiscating 50 large parcels of cocaine. The suspects are being questioned.
It is one of the biggest hauls the police have uncovered, although the Canary Islands are on the main smugglers route from South America and Africa to Europe.
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