It is not only a very emotional time, but also an important holiday in which pre-Hispanic culture meets the Catholic church. The sadness of the loss of loved ones blends with celebration because death, as the Mexicans see it, is not a definitive end to life but is just another kind of life. According to Mexican belief, the souls of the dead come to earth in this time period to visit their relatives. And they lay flowers, fruit, pastries or drinks on the graves of their loved ones.
In the surroundings of Stromovka park, parents and children experience the traditional customs and various cultural events — for the kids the events are staged by Toy Machine and Nebezpečné divadlo/Dangerous Theatre, and Aztec dance performance by Juan Manuel Garcia.
They also enjoy live Mexican music by Sombrero Negro. Participants can take part in special food making, such as decorating skull lemon cookies by Prague Pie Hole, or can simply taste various the Mexican dishes provided for festival goers.
The fifth annual Prague Pride Festival took place between the 10th and 16th this month, organized by the Association Prague Pride, which has been operating since 2010. The group’s main endeavor is connecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community with the broader public, with an overall objective of promoting a more tolerant civil society.
“While the LGBT people are not being stoned to death in our country, we are still miles away from gay marriage. We enjoy relative freedom with lesser or greater degrees of bullying: at school, at work, by members of parliament, who have been for the past year ignoring the amendment to the bill on registered partnership,” was the message of Festival Executive Director Kateřina Saparová as the weekly event began.
Throughout the week you could visit the Pride Village, which was based on a local island Střelecký Ostrov, where the organizers regularly held various workshops, discussions and concerts. But not only there; such places were all over Prague. The various clubs, theaters and cultural spaces were involved also. The program was colorful and the was plenty to for festival-goers to choose from.
The festival came to an end at a brisk pace. The top of event was Saturday’s parade through the center of Prague and then the music festival at Letná. This year, Prague Pride was definitely the biggest parade. According the estimates the parade was attended by 35,000 people. The length of the parade was double that of last year’s.
At the head of the procession was Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová. And behind her followed decorated cars, each presenting a particular community and a particular interest in a particular group. But all under the same slogan: In our endless diversity, we all have a rainbow inside..
Corso Krymská is known as one of the best street festival in Prague. The third annual took place this weekend in Prague Vršovice. The centerpiece was the world-famous Krymská street, which has been compared to such sites as Montmartre in Paris, Kreuzberg in Berlin and Camden Town in London.
Saturday’s festival was attended by 36 enterprises. The main events took place in the streets of Krymská, Francouzská, Donská, Černomořská, Sevastopolská, Petrohradská and Slovenská. These streets began to fill in around 11 a.m. and the outside entertainment lasted until 10 p.m., when everyone moved into the bars.
During the day festival-goers had the opportunity to taste lots of delicious food. Besides many excellent vegetarian specialties you might find homemade burgers, spring rolls, bread with lard, homemade pancakes and much more.
When browsing the street people visited the exhibitions, wrote poems, listened to bands, DJs or literary readings, danced the tango, visited workshops, and took in theater, but the main point was to have fun, relax and get to know your neighbors.
This three-week holiday represents a time of glee and feasting between two periods of fasting. The first records of the carnival in Bohemia and Moravia comes from the 13th century. The masquerade is the highlight of the Carnival.
The important parts of the parade constitute singing, dancing and feasting. Doing pranks, jokes and fun on the audience are the main roles of the participants. It’s like a feast of fools. There are several types of traditional masks that must not be missed during the parade. Generally, each mask has typical behavior, each mask expresses a particular type.
The Carnival parade, which took place in Prague recently, started on the Square of George of Poděbrady. It continued through the streets of Vinohrady and Žižkov to the City Hall, where the mayors handed over a symbolic key to the city. The parade was headed by a giant seven-meter figurehead of an angel, which was controlled by five strong men. Accompanying stilts walkers and artistes were playing around.
“Our function at the hunting club is a mission. We don’t do it so that can go into nature to shoot or get drunk. We support nature and hunting, and we do it out of love.” These are the words of the president of the hunting association, Humberk Ivo Hrzán. He has managed the association for several years. His grandfather was the founder, and he continues the family tradition. He maintains the themes and basic rules of hunting, and gets these into people’s consciousnesses — man’s relationship with nature, with the environment. He develops the tradition that has been here since time immemorial. Hunting is part of the cultural heritage of the Czech Republic.
Annually, the Humberk Hunting Association organizes a unique ball during the height of winter. The preparations are not easy and it takes a lot of time.
It is necessary to obtain a suitable space and give it that original look so typical for a hunting ball. The animals for the main raffle have already been caught. They mainly come from semi-wild herds and domestic breeding. They pull them out from freezers just before the ball. They must do up the fur so the look will be perfect. Tickets are sold out within two days.
The hall of the cultural house in Keblice is bursting at the seams. Here could be about 250 people. We all know each other; it’s one big family. People from the surrounding villages are coming so they can sit down their tables. In the vestibule at the entrance there are exposed animals, the main prizes of the raffle. People just entering are buying tickets. The long tables are placed around the perimeter of the main hall, each with at least 20 seats. And at each a particular family, relatives and acquaintances.
The families prepare snacks by themselves. It is customary to bring sandwiched plates, savouries, pies and chips. There is no exception — they bring their own alcohol. The plastic bags all around are filled with bottles of alcohol.
Of course, the association has also brought in the service of the young girls from the local taproom to take care and serve in the hall. They mostly distribute draft beer and bottles of wine.
The hired band provides the entertainment. They play classic Czech songs which are typical for dancing the polka and the waltz. In the evening they switch to Czech disco hits.
When the president of the association officially launches the prom, the fun begins in full swing. The first dance is dedicated to the gamekeepers, then the dance floor is filled by other couples. After four, five songs the band stops playing and takes a brief pause. It is the right time for fortification. The majority of the people go to the bar where they order shots. Vodka, plum brandy, rum, green flowing. And then back on the floor. That’s how it goes on all night.
The highlight is the announcement of the raffle, for which all eagerly await. Everyone wins. All participants shift to the vestibule, where prizes are distributed. The queue is endless. The game meat is the top prize. The wild boars, deer and hares lie in a row, ducks and pheasants hang on poles, and the back shelves are stacked with lesser prizes — calendars, cakes, plastic bottles for drinking, buckets, containers with cabbage, sacks of potatoes.
Everyone waits to see what was actually won. Some women bravely take away the dead boar. Where can it be put? Straight into the trunk of a car or brought to their tables.
During the night the hall is filling with the winnings. The deer are under the table, the pheasants are hung on chairs. The band plays for their lives, the first renegades fall asleep in their chairs. The entertainment does not end. Approaching the morning, around five O’clock, 60 people are still in the hall.
The ball has been a success. People were again together after a year, talking about their everyday affairs, who had died, who had moved, who had a child. Everything under the banner of the hunting club, which organizes and sponsors the whole event. It is one of the activities that brings them close. The hunting balls are an integral part of cultural life in the villages. Like hunting. In our country it is a matter of tradition, service and mission. The gamekeeper is someone who makes decisions about life and death; he becomes morally elevated. The hunter can kill animals; not to torment them, he is obliged to take care of them and protect them. And this mission spreads among ordinary people…