The tree on the Old Town Square will be lit up online this year. And a procession of giant puppets will open Advent time
Sad, but not unexpected news for all Praguers and Christmas enthusiasts has arrived. Despite the fact that it's been talked about for a long time, it's only just become official. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festive lighting of the Christmas tree in the Old Town Square will take place without spectators and without a light show this year. The town council will light up the tree and stream the event on social networks. Other organizers of various Christmas events are following the same path.
Government regulations won't allow the gathering of a larger number of persons, which is why the Magistrate of the Capital City of Prague is doing its best to keep the place where the Christmas tree will be lit a secret, so that curious people wouldn't come to have a look.
At night or early in the morning
The tree will be lit up for the first time this weekend late at night or early in the morning, when curfew is in place. In the morning, when the citizens of Prague wake up in their beds, the spruce will already be lit.
"Unfortunately, for security reasons, we are forced to organize the lighting of the Christmas tree without the traditional accompanying program. I would like to thank all Praguers for their responsible approach in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic so far and ask them to try and understand the complexity of the situation also in case of the lighting of the Christmas tree and to respect the government measures in place,"
Mayor Zdeněk Hřib appeals.
The tree is going to light up in the colors of the tricolor
The spruce will be adorned by six kilometers of light chains, several hundred Christmas balls in blue, white and red, and forty light stars in total. The tree will light up in the colors of the tricolor. Naturally, a three-meter treetopper won't be missing. This year, people were able to vote on what form the lighting would take on social networks. It will be designed in our national colors, commemorating this year's centenary anniversary of the origin of our state symbols.
Compared to previous years, the tree will have no animation at regular times. The illumination thus returns to the more traditional form of Czech Christmas, when the tree was lit statically. This year, the metropolis will place a second smaller tree on Mariánské náměstí in front of the New Town Hall of the City of Prague.
"Although the Christmas tree will be the only symbol of Christmas in the Old Town Square and this year's celebrations will have to go without an accompanying program, I see it as an opportunity to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in the historic center of Prague a little differently than we are used to, perhaps even in a more relaxed manner,"
says Hana Třeštíková, Councilor of the Capital City of Prague for Culture.
Angel procession every Advent Sunday
Despite the strict restrictions and limitations, Praguers will be able to enjoy at least a little fun. On Advent Sundays, life-size angel puppets will pass through the metropolis, islands of live art will light up Prague and a theater gallery will be built in the Prague Market Square. All this as part of the first winter edition of the Za dveřmi (Behind the Door) street theater festival, the main program of which will take place from 7 to 13 December.
A seven-meter puppet of an angel, accompanied by artists, will pass through the center of Prague on November 29 between 5 pm and 6.30 pm. The symbol of Christmas, but also of hope, security and protection, will greet the people of Prague in the Old Town Square and its surroundings.
"We are glad that we managed to find a safe form of starting the Advent time. The vast majority of pre-Christmas cultural events had to be canceled, so we really liked the idea of angels appearing in the city streets,"
Hana Třeštíková says happily.
In addition, the so-called winter festival of street theater, live art will take place in various places around Prague from 7 to 11 December. And a theater gallery will grow in the premises of the Prague Market Hall from 10 to 13 December. Visitors will be able to walk through a lively theatrical installation full of illuminated giant puppets, acrobatic machines, pendulums and structures that traveled the world and represented the Czech Republic, for example at the EXPO in Shanghai, Milan or the opening of Formula 1 in Bahrain.
The Winter Festival of Street Theater is being held in Prague for the first time. While the summer edition of Behind the Door has a twelve-year tradition, this is the first time we'll be able to see it in the winter months.