09.12.2018 18:34

The revolutionary Christmas in Brno

Autor: Jana Kopecká | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

It is shortly after three p.m. I'm walking through Freedom Square and I enjoy the Christmas atmosphere. It is slowly becoming dark and all Christmas lights begin to shine brightly. My childhood memories suddenly return.

Christmas markets are in Brno from the 23rd of November to the 28th of December this year, which is one week longer than previous year. Last time it started on November 24th, and the stands were removed on the 23rd of December. Markets are held in Moravian Square, Cabbage Market, of course in Freedom Square and the last advent area is Dominican Square, where there is also a large wooden nativity scene. One of the many people walking around the markets is Lucie Tesařová. "Christmas markets have a magical atmosphere, I always buy gifts for my family here. The disadvantage is the cold, you have to drink a lot of punch in order to get warm," says Lucie. I absolutely agree with her, so I am buying one punch right now.


In Moravian Square people can visit a large marquee with craft products, a heated tearoom or a charity antiquarian. The novelty is a sightseeing wheel with a diameter of thirty-three meters, for which the town received nearly two hundred thousand crowns. The ticket for the ride costs 100 crowns. In Cabbage Market visitors can find traditional Christmas decorations, folk crafts, advent habits, and stands with selling offers, that have changed over the past year. For example, there is a stand with wound glass beads.


These stands, however, are very difficult to build, decorate for Christmas and prepare everything for the sale. Markéta Kudynová participated in the construction of a wooden products stand in Moravian Square. She opened up with the negative experience that there was no heating available during the construction of the stand. "Hard winter made it more difficult and slower, the building of the stand eventually lasted seven hours," she said.


There is a traditional Christmas tree in Freedom Square, which was recently brought by a horse carriage, and hundreds of people watched the whole event. "Everything went without problem, the horses were in good shape and also managed the way back," said coachman Tomas Šutera. The tree first lit up on Friday, November 23rd. On the square people can buy mulled wine, coffee, tea, mead, punch, or, for example, stum. The aroma of the mulled wine provides the right atmosphere to the markets. But you can also smell potatoes, langoses, sausages or other delicatessen. Since I prefer sweets, I just bought chocolate and hazelnuts. I enjoy their taste while looking at the passing Christmas Tram with lights, which runs in the center of Brno every 20 minutes from November 24th and will be here until December 23rd.


My walk in the Christmas markets is accompanied by the sound of the clinking bell, which is traditionally situated next to the Christmas tree. People can ring it, can wish something and Baby Jesus will fulfill their wishes. Clinking reminds me of Christmas Eve and giving presents, so I'm totally in christmas mood now. I see a father with a young daughter who is just clinking the bell and wishing something. The girl is so small that her father has to raise her, so she can reach the bell.


In addition to refreshment stalls, Christmas shops also include shops with various products such as wooden products, Christmas decorations, glassware and more. Brno is the only city in the Czech Republic which is listed as UNESCO creative city of music. This is also because of the musical program in time of Advent. There is a daily musical program on stage at Freedom Square. For example, children who sing or dance perform here. Besides the stage, there is also a projection screen on which fairytales are projected.


Brno was the first city in the Czech Republic to have a Christmas tree in the square and thus to begin this tradition. In the Freedom Square the historically first tree was in 1924 and this year the Brno Christmas tree was also the first to be lit.


Compared to Vienna, however, the Christmas markets in Brno are small. Viennese markets are also more traditional, while Brno is trying to come up with new ideas each year. In Vienna, for example, mulled wine has been being poured into a red boot for several years, while there are new designed mugs in Brno each year. Last year the design of the mug was made by the artist Vendula Chalánková and this year it is by street artist Timo. Another difference is the price. For instance, a mulled wine is three times more expensive in Vienna.


 Christmas tree - Freedom Square

Klíčová slova: Brno, Christmas, Markets, Tree


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