The region of Eastern Bohemia has for centuries been celebrated for its fine textiles and traditional lacework. Last week, the Ministry of Culture added a specific type of Czech lace to the intangible cultural heritage list, a step towards such recognition by UNESCO. Meanwhile, an exquisite example of lacework – a lady’s cape comprised of 21 metres of lace – has just been restored ahead of the 750th anniversary of the town in which it was discovered.
Prague police have detained a 38-year-old man suspected of raping and
robbing a 56-year-tourist on Christmas Day.
The man had approached the woman in the Palmovka district early on December 25 with an offer to help her find the bus to her hotel. When crossing through a park, he forced her at knifepoint to perform oral sex.
Police had circulated a CCTV image of the suspect, who was apprehended in Prague 8 thanks to an anonymous caller. They say he has previously been convicted of a violent crime.
The Ministry of Culture has added Vamberk bobbin lace and Uherské
Hradiště region feasts on its intangible cultural heritage list – a
step towards possible inclusion on UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage
Vamberk has been known for its exquisite lace production since the 17th century. The first school of bobbin lace opened there in 1899.
The Uherské Hradiště region and Slovácko Museum have been looking to have village feasts tied to Christian holidays and seasonal events included on the Czech list for years.
The start of the New Year has kicked off the largest and most successful fund-raiser in the country – the now traditional Three Kings Collection, organised by the Catholic charity Caritas. Now in its twentieth year, the collection has in total raised more than 1.2 billion crowns in aid of the needy.
Thirty years ago this Christmas, Czechs were in an especially festive spirit – the entire Communist Party leadership had resigned a month before, and in a matter of days a majority democratic parliament would elect Václav Havel as president, bringing the Velvet Revolution to a glorious end. Ahead of the holiday, I spoke to Adéla and Petr Mucha – a historian and theologian, respectively, born into practicing Catholic families under Communism – about their experiences with the “Underground Church”, religious figures active in the dissident Charter 77
Czech Christmas wouldn’t be complete without traditional Christmas carols. To mark the occasion, we’ll be listening to an album entitled Christmas for Grown-Ups or Vánoce dospělých. The album was recorded by the Concept Art Orchestra, a leading Czech jazz band, and offers a slightly different take on the traditional seasonal repertoire.
Czech Christmas is unthinkable without a vast variety of cookies. Typically, Czech households start baking them at the beginning of the festive season so that they can stock up on them well ahead of the main holiday. Some of the cookies are for consumption, others are intended mainly as decorations for the Christmas tree. Vít Pohanka visited a Pardubice bakery to find out more about the latter:
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.
An unusual forest church for Christmas nativity gatherings has been created at the village of Neznašov in South Bohemia. It is the work of local sculptor Václav Fiala and makes reference to a commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ organised by St. Francis of Assisi near Greccio in central Italy in 1223.
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