Holiday culture tips for Prague: Angelic art, a new 'Nutcracker,' and Christmas concerts

Catch a restaging of 'The Nutcracker,' traditional Czech advent concerts, and nativity scenes from around the world.

Ioana Caloianu

Written by Ioana Caloianu Published on 18.12.2022 16:52:00 (updated on 18.12.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes


Scenic nativities|Nearly 300 nativity scenes from various materials, stone, wood, gingerbread, and chocolate are among them, go on display from Dec. 24-31. The Czech and internationally sourced scenes are from the collection of a Czech artist who displays them annually at Jan Kepler Gymnasium in Prague 6.

Sacred geometry| Opened earlier this month, and running until Feb. 19, 2023, at the Kvalitar contemporary art & design gallery, Geometria naturalis: A Chapter from Crystallography focuses on the interdisciplinary linking of art and science. The group exhibition A Chapter from Crystallography puts a spotlight on the world of crystals through the works of leading Czech artists.

Past Christmases|The "Nostalgic Christmas" exhibition runs until Dec. 30 at the Old Times Museum (Muzeum Kouzlo starých časů). Dedicated to Christmas celebrations in the 19th and 20th centuries, the exhibition includes historical artifacts, and curiosities, as well as a store with antiques and porcelain from the first part of the 20th century, great for a unique gift for the holiday season.

Beauty through a camera lens|The exhibition Life|Manfred Baumann dedicated to the works of Austrian photographer runs until Jan. 15, 2023, at the Leica Gallery Prague. While Baumann is best known for his photographs of Hollywood actors, the present exhibition is a series of snapshots telling the life stories of those photographed, which are residents of retirement homes with ages approaching 100.


A top doc|The award-winning Czech documentary Kaprkód explores the contradictory story of the progressive composer, experimenter, and prominent communist Jan Kapr (1914-88), who was almost erased from official memory. 

In the 1950s, Kapr was awarded one of the highest honors of the Eastern Bloc at the time, the Stalin Prize, for composing propaganda music. He returned the prize in August 1968 in response to the Russian invasion. Now playing at Edison Filmhub with English subtitles.

Unforgettable voice|Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody premieres in Czech cinemas on Dec. 22. Catch one of the screenings of the Whitney Houston biopic this month at Kino Lucerna, which celebrates the life and music and tracks Whitney's journey from obscurity to musical superstardom.

The rich also cry|Watch Woody Harrelson play a boat captain in Triangle of Sadness on Dec. 23 at Kino Pilotů (English friendly). The film, which earned its Swedish director Ruben Östlund the prestigious Palme d'Or award at the Cannes festival, is a satire on social roles, entitlement and privilege, shot on the Cristina O, the former yacht of the Onassis family.

Beginning of a beautiful friendship|The iconic Casablanca is at Bio Oko on Dec. 25, adding a touch of nostalgia to the first day of Christmas. Watch Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman meet and fall in love anew in Michael Curtiz's masterpiece set in World War II French Morocco.


Holiday hijinks|The residents of a town called Almost, Maine have an event-filled cold winter evening of romantic entanglements. Local actors Marc Cram, Jared Doreck, Jim High, Elissa Levitt, Lauren Mercier, and Sinead Phelps star in the production directed by Abigail Rice. Catch it at Divadlo Na Prádle on Dec. 19.

NYE Operetta|End the year with Ball im Savoy, an operetta on the stage of the State Opera with shows on Dec. 28 and 31. The production centers on a story full of funny conspiracies, romantic tension, and unexpected plot twists, where a newlywed couple is being tested upon return from honeymoon. Expect a medley of jazz rhythms, Hungarian czardas, tango, klezmer, and Viennese waltz to the French Riviera.

Ball im Savoy. Photo used with permission .
Ball im Savoy. Photo used with permission .

A new Nutcracker|The National Theatre's restaging of Tchaikovsky's ballet is a staple of the classical repertoire of ballet companies. Hungarian choreographer and former artistic director of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Youri Vàmos's version was inspired by Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol." The story takes place in 19th-century London and highlights the transformative power of Christmas. Regular dates through January.


Christmas music|The Advent concert of the Prague Philharmonic Choir will create a festive atmosphere at the State Opera on Dec. 19. The program features Arvo Pärt: Salve Regina, Bohuslav Martinů: The Nativity of the Lord and Luboš Fišer: Christmas.

Czech Christmas classic|The Czech Christmas Mass (Česká mše vánoční) by Jakub Jan Ryba is a mainstay of Czech Christmas celebrations; composed in 1796 and based on pastoral motifs it is performed in churches and concert halls throughout Czechia this time of year. Prague City Tourism has put together a list of dates and times for experiencing the magical mass.

Master of film music|A production curated by Maestro Morricone himself, Ennio MorriconeThe Official Concert Celebration is on Dec. 19 at the O2 arena. The concert will include iconic scenes from the most famous films, lighting effects, and soloists who collaborated with the Italian composer, and see his son Andrea Morricone take over the baton.

Exotic rhythms|The Los Quemados quartet plays at Jazz Club Ungelt on Dec. 21 and 28. With a lineup of a tenor saxophone, bass guitar, and drums, the band plays a mixture of jazz with elements of funk, Latin, Afro music, and bop, mostly consisting of their own original compositions.

Havels for the holidays|Pitchfork described the music of Irena and Vojtěch Havel, collectively known as The Havels, as "fusing early music, ambient, and folk" as well as "resonant and deeply stirring." The Czech couple’s work has fans in Sufjan Stevens and The National's Bryce Dessner. At Potrva on Dec. 21.

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