No big fireworks show in Prague for the New Year: City Hall opts for a videomapping instead

Prague City Hall unanimously decided that the next New Year’s Day celebration will be without traditional fireworks

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 07.08.2019 17:06:05 (updated on 07.08.2019) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague City Hall unanimously decided that the New Year’s Day celebrations on January 1, 2020 will be without traditional fireworks. There will be a videomapping instead.

While many people
may miss the big show, the change comes as no surprise. The Pirate
Party, which currently leads the city’s ruling coalition, announced
even before the show at the start of 2019 that they were seeking
alternatives. Lasers, drones and silent fireworks were among the
options mentioned.

It was too late to
change the 2019 fireworks show, as contracts has already been signed
before the new administration came in. The normally spectacular end
was toned down a bit, though.

Noise from the
fireworks, which upsets both pets and wildlife, is the main issue.

national museum
Videomapping on the National Museum in October 2018. via Raymond Johnston

“It is a helpful
step not only for all citizens of the metropolis who are sensitive to
excessive noise, but also for animals that face unnecessary stress
every year. I believe that everyone will enjoy the new form of New
Year celebrations, and I am glad that we unanimously agreed on it,”
Prague City Councilor Jan Chabr (United Force for Prague) said.

The City Council still did not decide on a place where the videomapping will be projected. The form and location of the video mapping will be the subject of a public tender. A videomapping is a precisely timed animated projection tailored to fit a specific space, usually the facade of a large building.

Official video of the 2010 videomapping at the Astronomical Clock.

The fireworks show
had been one of the most popular events of the year. Recently, the
fireworks have been launched from Letná park, and people have lined
the waterfront from Karlín down to most Legií, as well as vantage
points in Petřín, Strahov and other high spots.


Finding a
videomapping site with such a large viewing area may prove difficult.

City Councilor Hana
Třeštíková (Praha sobě), reponsible for culture, said the New
Year’s Day videomapping should cost around 2 million CZK.

The last fireworks show cost 1.7 million CZK and lasted 11 minutes.

Videomapping at náměstí Míru. via Raymond Johnston

Videomapping has been growing more popular. The 600th anniversary of the Astronomical Clock in 2010 introduced many Praguers to the concept. The Signal Festival, which began in 2013, usually features several videomappings, with the Church of St Ludmilla at náměstí Míru a constant venue.

January 1 is not
just New Year’s Day, but it also marks the official split of
Czechoslovakia in 1993, and is called Den obnovy samostatného
českého státu, meaning Day of the Renewed Independent Czech State.

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