Three Kings carolers return to the streets of the Czech Republic

The annual charity drive for the Czech Republic's needy returns from today, though the Three Kings parade has been cancelled.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 01.01.2022 13:01:00 (updated on 01.01.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Carolers dressed as biblical kings will return to the streets of Czech cities from today through January 16 during the annual Three Kings Collection organized by Caritas Czech Republic. The charity drive to raise money for the country's needy has been held since 2000, though collections took place online last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions.

"Although the time is still difficult, carolers will come to you on January 1, 2022 and give joy and blessings, as well as ask for a contribution to people in need," states the Caritas Czech Republic website.

Carolers dressed as the three wise men, Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar, can be met across the Czech Republic through January 16. All carolers will follow sanitary and social distancing measures in line with the Czech Republic's anti-epidemic restrictions.

Younger carolers will always be accompanied by an adult, who will present a card verifying their association with the Caritas charity operation upon request. Donation boxes are locked, with serial numbers matching the verification card.

People can donate by dropping coins and notes in donation boxes directly with the carolers or at participating locations such as supermarkets; look out for the red and white Caritas logo. Money can also be sent directly to Caritas through bank transfer, text message, or the official Three Kings collection website.

The annual Three Kings collection drive traditionally coincides with a parade through the center of Prague on Three Kings' Day, January 6. The parade, also organized by Caritas, typically includes actors dressed as the Three Kings riding camels across Charles Bridge and other locations in the Czech capital.

Like last year, however, the Three Kings' Day parade has been cancelled due to the latest restrictions governing mass events in the Czech Republic.

"Due to the deteriorating epidemiological situation, the Three Kings parade will not take place," writes Caritas.

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"It is a mass event that is attended by several thousand people every year. Due to the nature of the event, it is not possible to guarantee compliance with security measures, especially the distances of the participants."

The Three Kings collection is one of the largest charity events in the Czech Republic, and 75,000 people participated in it in 2020. The carolers dressed as biblical kings are primarily children.

The majority of the money collected goes towards helping those in need within the Czech Republic, including the elderly, infirm, single mothers, and others. About ten percent of the donations go towards humanitarian assistance abroad.

In 2020, the Three Kings collection raised a record 133.5 million crowns to assist those in need. Last year, when collection efforts took place online, the collection raised 81.5 million crowns. Since the start of the charity drive in 2000, a total of 1.5 billion crowns have been raised.

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