Christmas time is here! Anyway, they are celebrated differently in every country. Which, of course, will not be a secret to you. What you may not know is how we – Czechs, celebrate Christmas.  Advent begins 4 weeks before Christmas. Every Sunday we light one candle on Advent’s wreath. Variations on this wreath are different and sometimes very original. Maybe sometimes too original. From the first of December, the kids have a chocolate from the Advent Calendar every morning. Some honestly only have the appropriate chocolate on that day. But there are also cases like me who have the whole calendar weaned already on November 30… During Advent, we are also very happy to visit the Christmas markets. Not only in our neighborhood but also in Vienna or Dresden. It is also associated with sipping a sledgehammer and eating a trdelnik.  We also bake all types of candy. Christmas candy and its baking is one of the popular Christmas traditions, which is respected in a large part of Czech households. Most of the Christmas cookies are prepared from a mixture of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, cocoa, chocolate and various nuts and candied fruits. Typical include linseed desserts, which can also be flavored with grated coconut or cocoa. Typical scents are vanilla and rum, typical spices of cinnamon. Traditionally, at least 7 species should be baked.  Christmas Eve is December 24th. Usually that day is not doing much. Most people look at Czech fairytales and eat Christmas candies from dawn. It is a tradition that the whole family is meeting at a gala dinner. The dinner itself traditionally consisted of fish soup, potato salad and carp, and some habits prevailed during its consumption. For example, one plate was more for an unexpected visit, or a coin was placed under the plate. Who found it, they should have money for the whole year. Another habit is that only the housekeeper could move away from the Christmas Eve dinner until all people have finished. In our family, no one can stand up for the whole evening otherwise something bad happens.  Next, there are gifts. In each household there is a Christmas tree (typically fir or pine). It is decorated with various decorations and chains. Below this tree there are already mentioned gifts. This is brought to us by a little baby Jesus (Ježíšek). Then we look at TV on a fairy tale (mostly our Czech Cinderella). Then there is a midnight mass in the church. We also have a lot of traditions. Here’s a couple of them: Mistletoe. People usually fix the mistletoe on the chandelier or over the door. Probably because under a hanging mistletoe, a man has the right to kiss any girl or woman. Lead pouring. Above the flame, a bit of lead starts to melt. Prepare the pot of water and pour the lead carefully. The casting that comes into existence guides his future. For example, star casting means success, recognition. Shoe. Single girls throw a shoe over their heads. If they turn their heels to the door, they will stay home. If they turn to the door, they marry and leave.

———- Původní e-mail ———-
Od: Lyn Funnell <lyn747@btinternet.com>
Komu: ‘ ‘ <k.doubravova@email.cz>
Datum: 1. 12. 2017 11:01:05
Předmět: RE: RE: Article
I quickly need another article for Friday 15th as I’ll be in Malta.

You’re doing really well. Keep it up & you’ll have a book next year.

Lyn

 

From: [mailto:k.doubravova@email.cz] Sent: 01 December 2017 09:56
To: Lyn Funnell <lyn747@btinternet.com>
Subject: Re: RE: Article

 

Hey Lyn, Okey:)

 

Here it’s quite Ok weather.
———- Původní e-mail ———-
Od: ‘ ‘
Komu: Lyn Funnell
Datum: 2017-11-30 15:01:36 +0000
Předmět: RE: Article

Hi Katarina, don’t forget a Czech Christmas! And of course the food, etc.

It’s freezing here now.

 

From: [mailto:k.doubravova@email.cz] Sent: 29 November 2017 11:12
To: lyn@b-c-ing-u.com
Subject: Article

 

 

Pardubice is my hometown. That’s why I decided to start with it. Besides, it is also the largest and the capital of my region.  Let’s take a look in history. The oldest existing document about Pardubice comes from 1295. The area had a monastery founded in the 2nd half of the 13th century and the city was founded in 1340 In 1491, Pardubice was bought by William II of Pernstein. This was the period of the biggest boom of Pardubice. From this time, for example, there is castle. You could also read about the Pernštejn family in my first article on St. Catherine’s Chapel at Kunětická hora. Until 1918, the town was part of the Austrian monarchy.Another important milestone of history for Pardubice is 1845. In 1845, the first train arrived to Pardubice. This meant another city boom and a much better connection with the surrounding area. New industrial enterprises started to emerge in the town, namely a distillery, a factory for mill machines of Josef Prokop and sons and Fanta’s Factory. Since 1874, the Great Pardubice Steeplechase (Velká Pardubická) horse race has taken place every autumn (second Sunday in October).On 13 May 1911, Ing. Jan Kašpar made history by flying the first long-haul flight towards Prague.In Pardubice, industrial expansion was on the rise, especially after the First World War. However, during the Second World War the town was damaged by air strikes of the Allies. Pardubice is situated on the bank of the second longest river in the Czech Republic – the Labe River, and is located 100 km east of the capital city of Prague, 150 km north-west of Brno. Average elevation of 225m and its area is 78 km2.  Pardubice is called the city of industry. The dominant industries are chemical industry, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. The chemical industry is mainly represented by a company Paramo and Synthesia, which was founded in Pardubice-Semtín as a stock factory for explosive substances.  Pardubice is also a city of sport. The most popular sport here is probably ice hockey. We have a team in the highest league (and our team is there for the longest time). We also have a football team in the second Czech league. The popular sport of our youth is also a dance of all kinds. For passive sport I recommend going to some hockey match. An excellent sporting experience is also mentioned above Great Pardubice or Gold helmet (motorbike). Pardubice is also a city of culture. There are many galleries (the most famous is the U Jonáš Gallery), the museum (part of the castle). During the year many cultural events. Cultural lovers will not be bored here, and whoever they are looking for will find it. We’re finally going to my favorite places. The first place here is Perstské Square. The original mildly sandy hill was flattened after a fire in 1507. The square was first called the rynk, until the middle of the 19th century, when it took on the new name Main Square. In 1918, the square was named after Vilém of Pernštejn and this name was changed in the 1950s to the so-called Pernštýnské Square. Houses on Pernstyn Square still adorn the Renaissance lining and the portals of burnt clay. Among the most valuable monuments are the „U Jonáše“ House (galery) and the Neo-Renaissance Town Hall.You will find plenty of bars and restaurants. There is also a town hall and a library. Among the landmarks is the Green Gate. It was originally gold, but it grew green due to corrosion. From Pernstyn Square there are lots of nice streets that I like to walk through. In good weather it is a very nice walk. One of these streets will also lead you to the Pardubice Chateau Here you can go to the museum, to the expositions, to the cafeteria or to the valley. Of the more modern buildings I like the buildings of the Automatic Mills It hosts various cultural events such as exibitions and concerts. If you want to relax after a walk, I recommend some of our cafes. For example, Tyr’s sets (located under the castle) hide a beautiful café “Galerie cafe park Pardubice”.