Have Yourself a Covid Christmas: Prague cancels large Christmas markets, but it won't give up the tree
The largest Christmas markets in the Czech Republic on the Old Town and Wenceslas Square will not be held this year. The capital city of Prague has decided that due to the coronavirus situation, it is necessary to protect the population, wherefore the usual meeting place of crowds of people will be canceled. Only the tree will remind Praguers of the atmosphere of the most beautiful holidays of the year.
This year, the tree will be brought from Central Bohemia. This is a heavy blow for many people who love Christmas and traditional markets.
"Given the epidemic situation in the Czech Republic and the ever-increasing number of coronavirus infections, we have decided not to organize Christmas markets to the extent and size we have been accustomed to in recent years. If we follow all the safety rules now and succeed in stopping the spread of the epidemic, I believe that we will be able to look forward to the classic Christmas markets again next year,"
says the deputy mayor of the capital of the City of Prague for the area of security Petr Hlubuček.
A smaller version of Christmas celebrations
But we might be able to at least get a cup of mulled wine somewhere. It all depends on the numbers of coronavirus cases.
"We are talking with Taiko about erecting a decorated Christmas tree on the Old Town Square as per usual, so that the Praguers walking through the city center could get a taste of a Christmas atmosphere. The decorations won't be expensive or pompous. If the epidemic situation allows, we are ready to add a decent amount of small stalls. However, at the moment we do not count on the classic variant of Christmas markets,"
explains Jan Chabr, Prague City Councilor for Property. However, he can imagine that certain city districts could, in a limited variant, make some form of Christmas market work. Nevertheless, according to his words it is too soon to speculate about such options.
Taiko has already selected a suitable tree for installation in the Old Town Square. The Norway spruce grew up near Jílové u Prahy on a private property and measures about nineteen meters.
"We will offer the tree and its installation to the City of Prague for overhead costs. Upon agreement, we can come up with a modest decoration of the tree and prepare it for the beginning of this year's Advent,"
concludes Libor Votruba, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Taiko, a.s.
When will the tree be erected?
If the situation with the pandemic does not change significantly, the organizers' representatives will erect the tree in the Old Town Square according to the original plan on the night of 23rd to 24th November.
In Brno, according to available information, markets are still being prepared, but it is uncertain whether they will really take place. Most likely, the city will follow the example of Prague. The decisions of the cities of Karlovy Vary, Pardubice, Ostrava or Liberec are also awaited. City officials are trying to organize the markets.
And what about Christmas markets abroad?
In Bratislava, they're not counting with any markets. On the contrary, it seems that Vienna and Dresden will live up to the classic Christmas markets. However, only time and the pandemic curve can tell.