Weekly Image Of Life: Easter Time

Today I have some shots connected with Easter in Czech Republic and Prague for Weekly Image Of Life: Easter Time.

Despite the fact that Czech Republic is very secular country, also here we have Easter services, this one from St. Salvator Church at Klementinum complex.

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Easter Ceremony at St. Salvator Church, Klementinum

Mostly the feast is the great opportunity to decorate city squares and have Easter markets, as this one at the Old Town square.

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Old Town Square – Easter Market

“Kraslice” are the real egg shales. The name comes from the Czech word “krásný” = beautiful and “krásný” comes from Slavonic/Russian word “krasnij” = red. Look at the next gallery and you won’t be surprised, that kraslice are mostly red. There are many decoration styles, every village has its own style and method and ornament shapes, which are used for centuries.

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“Kraslice” – Easter Eggs

Important for Easter Monday, “pomlázka”. Pomlázka is a stick made from willow canes and the word comes from: “mladý” = young, “omladit/pomladit” = make younger. Therefore, on the Easter Monday mornings boys are visiting girls and they make them younger with their “pomlázka’s” and girls are giving back the eggs and ribbons. Look at it from other perspective here.

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Pomlázka

About Czech Christmas gingerbread tradition you can read here, and for Easter we have special gingerbread shapes as well :-).

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Easter Gingerbreads

Eggs are all around us, also like a colorful candles.

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Eggs od candles?

And easter time is also important, as the spring is coming to Czech Republic and flowers start to bloom and smell, it is beautiful!

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Spring is coming

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Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

The last Weekly Photo Challenge in 2012 is, not surprisingly, the reminiscence of the whole year. I chose for you the views of Prague (mostly), places that I visited, actions that happened there.

In January I visited Vyšehrad, place with beautiful atmosphere any time a day, on the shot you see rotunda of St. Martin from 11th century, one of the oldest churches in Prague. More about Vyšehrad and its famouse cemetery you can read here.

Vyšehrad

Vyšehrad

February is a month for carnival and Mardi Grass celebration. This shot was taken in Karlín, where the celebrations took place at the main square around the church. More about Karlín you can find here.

Smíchov

Smíchov

Spring was coming and at the small garden by the Faust house in Prague (you don’t know who is Faust? Read more at wiki) yearly selling exhibition of alpine plants took place in March.

Faust

Faust house and alpine plants

You already read something about Prague subway in one of my previous posts, in April I visited it from the background and the experience was quite interesting. See trains in engine house on the next shot.

Metro

Metro

“It’s first of May the day of love”, that’s the beginning of poem May by Karel Hynek Mácha, a Czech romantic writer. His statue stands in the big public park Petřín and every first of May couples are coming to kiss under blossoming tree here and greet Mácha. The English translation of the whole poem you can read at this link. Warning: it doesn’t have a happy end!

Petřín

Petřín, the funicular at the background

At my blog you can read mostly about Prague city center, but there are big housing estates with block of flats around the city. Even there you can find parks and oases of nature, such as a farm called Toulcův dvůr with cows, horses, sheeps, and other domestic animals. I visited that place in June and on the shot you see the view from there.

Toulcův dvůr

Toulcův dvůr

Almost whole July I spent out of Prague, so this shot is from place called Czech Switzerland. It is at North Bohemia and the nature here is just stunning. You can hike there and admire the nature in its wildness. We were lucky, as the gulches on Kamenice river were opened after two years, when they were destroyed by big floods.

Tichá soutěska

Quiet gulch

August I spent travelling around country too. Kutná Hora, the second most important city in Czech Republic in our history. On the shot you see the St. Barbara cathedral and I wrote more about this place here.

St. Barbora cathedral in Kutná Hora

St. Barbora cathedral in Kutná Hora

Back to Prague, the famous John Lennon’s wall has been changing day to day, how it looked in September you can find on my shot.

Lennon

Lennon or Lemon?

Fall in Prague is really beautiful as you can check also here, my shot for October shows you St. Vitus cathedral, the most important church in our country, from a bit different perspective that we are used to look at.

Hrad

St. Vitus cathedral

Houses of Prague are full of house signs. People use to ask me why there is written “U” (U dvou slunců, U housliček, U prstenu, U kamenného zvonu, …) on the buildings. You can also find the “U” on my shot, where “U tří Turků” is written. The “U” means “beside” or “by”. Thus, the house is called House Beside three Turks, because of the three Turks heads on the facade. I plan to write more about house signs in Prague somewhere in future. Meanwhile, you can look at more house signs at my very first post here (bottom picture). That’s my shot for November.

TUrci

Turks

About December in Prague I wrote a lot, you can check all the posts and I also wrote about the tradition of nativity scenes. The last picture is from the famous church of Our Lady Victorious, where you can find the statue of Baby Infant Jesus (also on my list for next year posts). At the back of the church you can find shelves with figures of baby infant Jesus all over the worls but also small nativity scenes, like is the one on my shot. The creches are from South America (Salvador), and I love that simple style a lot.

Betlem

Betlem

I hope you enjoyed my 2012 tour and I hope we will meet next year, if not in Prague, then definitelly on my blog pages here :-).

Travel theme: Festive

Theme Festive for Travel theme during advent time. What should I put in? I already wrote about Prague Nativity scenes, Christmas Markets at the Old Town, Christmas Crafts Markets and Czech Christmas Ornaments. What should I write more about Christmas? I decided to go for another Festive theme. In September I was in Rome and by coincidence I saw some festival there, which looked strange and funny for me. Here are the pictures from this feast. At Piazza Venezia we met a group of strange dressed gentlemen, they had hats decorated with feathers from fowls tails, some special traditional and honorable uniform. The Mayor of Rome was also present.

Men with feathers hats

Men with feathers hats

Then we walked to Colosseum, and listened to some music we saw big group of musicians in uniformas coming around us.

"Red" musicians

“Red” musicians

And the third, soldiers with fowls tails on the hats were coming, performing music, and then dancing special and short dance (therefore I didn’t managed to make movie with it :-(), after which they left to Colosseum direction.

tails singers and dancers

Fowls tails singers and dancers

So that was my festive meeting with “fowls tails” celebration in Rome.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

At this very special day I would love to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I would love to thank you all for stopping by at my blog, for your likes and comments. My special thanks belong to subscribers who pushed the Follow button. I hope we will spent another beautiful year with our posts and photos.

Thanks, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013 to you all

Katy

Big thanks and the best wishes for the coming year

Big thanks and the best wishes for the coming year

My Post about Christmas:
PragueChristmasSKOI

Betlémy – nativity scenes
Christmas Market in Prague Old Town
Christmas Crafts Markets in Prague
Czech Christmas Ornaments (Rautis)
Traditional Gingerbreads
Christmas Wish 2012
Family Tradition – Fire-crackers

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

For this week challenge I was considering the meaning of the word “delicate” a lot. First, it meant to me something fragile, elegant, soft, and then sweet, tasty. And finally I found out what I would write about: about our gingerbreads because they are delicate in all meanings of this word and we make them during Christmas Season, so it is the best topic for now :-).

It is very traditional to make small gingerbread cookies in all possible shapes and they are decorated with sugar icing. Families share the recipes and decoration styles, ladies are competing whose gingerbread would be nicer. One of the recipes can be found here.

However, as I bake neither gingerbreads nor even other traditional Czech Cookies (when you havebigger family who does 50 different kinds, you don’t have to participate, you just have to eat it :-)), I can’t put here any pictures from the preparation of the gingerbreads.  I wrote a post about Betlem Exhibition in Prague few days ago and now I will use some shots of gingerbreads from this exhibition as well.

Advent Wreath with 4 candles, waiting for Christmas in Advent time

Advent Wreath with 4 candles, waiting for Christmas in Advent time

Nativity scenes, but also St. Nicolas with Angel and Devils, another Advent tradition

Nativity scenes, but also St. Nicolas with Angel and Devils, another Advent tradition

GIngerbreads for your table and taste

Gingerbreads for your table and taste

Gingerbread Village

Gingerbread Village

Christmas Tree decorations

Christmas Tree decorations

Really piece of art

Real piece of art

GIngerbread forms . different shapes

Gingerbread forms – different shapes

How sold at Christmas Markets

How sold at Christmas Markets

Gingerbread motif used for Bank commercial :-)

Gingerbread motif used for Bank commercial, displey and envelope

My Post about Christmas:
PragueChristmasSKOI

Betlémy – nativity scenes
Christmas Market in Prague Old Town
Christmas Crafts Markets in Prague
Czech Christmas Ornaments (Rautis)
Traditional Gingerbreads
Christmas Wish 2012
Family Tradition – Fire-crackers

Czech Christmas Ornaments

Take a look at our brilliant Christmas tree from 2006 year. It is decorated with traditional Czech ornaments, made from anther of blown glass.

Our Christmas tree, decorated with Rautis decorations

This type of ornaments comes from north Bohemia and was famous during the first half of the 20th century. Still you can find beautiful pieces in anthiques, but they are expensive indeed. I am really sorry that my grandparents throw out a box full of these ornaments sometime in late fifties, you know, the ornaments were not modern at all.

I bought this pot in antique

The decorations are done in all shapes you can think of and even in shapes that you would’t think it is possible at all.

These scales are from antique too

One summer day I decided that we should visit the small Rautis factory, where these beautiful jewels are produced, so we went to Krkonoše, mountains in North Bohemia, the heart of our glass tradition.

The entrance door to the factory shop by the factory in Poniklá

Bigger pieces – tower, carriage, old car, wheel

The process of ornament making constis of few steps. Blowing, silvering, coloring, painting, cutting, assembly. We tried only the first step, which is blowing, it looked quite easy, but our final result didn’t look as we would like to. Then we found out that the blower needs to train for at least 6 months to be able to blow glass beads which do not pop during further processing. And we didn’t have that much time …

My father blowing his first glass anther.

In fact most of the steps can be done at home, so workers often have the own workshops at their buildings. Only silvering and coloring process must be done at fatory, because they are chemical production steps and have to comply with all safety and environmental standards.

Glass anthers (“klaučata”) after silverization

And now colored in blue, but in fact the silver ornaments are my most favorite

The last steps of the process – cutting and assembling can be both done at home. So to support your creativity, you can buy a set to make your own decoration. On the next picture you can enjoy the Christmas decorations, not only the beads one, but also colorful blown decorations done at Rautis factory as well.

Old bicycle, Nativity scene, boat, star and drum, baby-coach and cabin, whole train

All the colors

And finally look at part of my excellent collection.

Stars and flowers and snowflakes – jewels for my Christmas tree

My Post about Christmas:
PragueChristmasSKOI

Betlémy – nativity scenes
Christmas Market in Prague Old Town
Christmas Crafts Markets in Prague
Czech Christmas Ornaments (Rautis)
Traditional Gingerbreads
Christmas Wish 2012
Family Tradition – Fire-crackers

Christmas Crafts Markets in Prague

Every year in the beginning of Advent we are looking forward to Crafts and Pottery Markets at Prague’s Industrial Palace. It is a perfect way to buy gifts for Christmas and to enjoy hundreds and hundreds works of craftsmen from Bohemia, but also from Hungary and Slovakia. The venue of these markets is beautiful itself, as it comes from 1891 year.

Sjezdový palác (Congress Palace),craft markets traditional venue

Průmyslový palác (Industrial Palace), craft markets traditional venue

One hall of the Industrial Palace is full of stalls offering pottery, from object for everyday use as cups and plates and baking forms, to master art pieces.

Baking forms (I like the "four-in-one") and pottery apples

Baking forms (I like the “four-in-one”) and pottery apples

Art pieces and figures

Colorful buffoons, Devil's nativity scene (all the figures are small bells!), angels light holders

Colorful buffoons, Devil’s nativity scene (all the figures are small bells!), angels light holders

Animals

Seal heads for your garden, peacock plates, meerkats/suricates family

Seal heads (life size) for your garden, peacock plates, meerkats/suricates family

So now you saw lot of pottery, but we also have crafts and craftsmen working at the market. For example wood carver

Wood-carvers tools and final product - Nativity scene

Wood-carvers tools and final product – Nativity scene

Or weaver

Weavers works

Weavers works

You can also get your shoes done, by shoemaker.

Leather hand-made shoes, fits perfectly!

Leather hand-made shoes, fits perfectly!

… and even more and more – wool, tide-dyed clothes, wooden toys, farmer’s chees, wines, gingerbreads, decorations, candles and candlesticks … the post will never end if I would like to show you everything. Therefore you have to come and see on your own eyes next year. And maybe your fireplace will look as our one does – after Craft Market’s visit our small “village” displayed at fireplace was extended this year again.

Pottery village with candles in our fireplace at home

Pottery village with candles in our fireplace at home

My Post about Christmas:
PragueChristmasSKOI

Betlémy – nativity scenes
Christmas Market in Prague Old Town
Christmas Crafts Markets in Prague
Czech Christmas Ornaments (Rautis)
Traditional Gingerbreads
Christmas Wish 2012
Family Tradition – Fire-crackers

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