Weekend headlines: Czech Republic welcomes 2022 Advent season

Plus: Riders stranded aboard Brno Ferris wheel, hundreds demonstrate against Czech government in Prague, and more weekend headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 26.11.2022 12:11:00 (updated on 27.11.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

Culture Czech Republic welcomes 2022 Advent season

Today marks the first Advent Sunday of the 2022, the traditional start date of the Christmas season. In Christian custom, it marks the beginning of the spiritual preparation for Christmas; these days, it is associated with the opening of Christmas markets, lighting of trees, and start of the holiday shopping season.

Czech tradition calls for one candle to be lit on an Advent wreath on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Day; the first candle honors the prophets who predicted the birth of Jesus Christ. The Advent wreath tradition dates back to 19th century Germany, where it was created by Johann Hinrich Wichern, founder of the Home Mission movement.

Christmas Guests stranded on Ferris wheel at Brno Christmas market

Brno's Christmas market on Moravské náměstí got off to a shaky start this weekend as guests were left stranded on its centerpiece Ferris wheel. According to iDnes.cz, the Ferris wheel halted operation as the market closed on schedule, but the attraction's attendant forgot that there were riders still aboard.

People stuck aboard the Ferris wheel phoned local police, who arrived to the Christmas market a few minutes before 10:00 p.m. "A woman called us saying that she had been up on the Ferris wheel for an unusually long time, for about a quarter of an hour, and that it was dark down by the control cabin," said police spokesman Pavel Šváb. The attendant was located by police and guests were returned to the ground about ten minutes after their arrival.

Sports Czech snowboard champ wins first medal after year-long recovery

Czech snowboarder Eva Adamczyková (formerly Samková) won her first medal of the year at the FIS Pitzal Women's Snowboard Cross, finishing third yesterday in Austria. Adamczyková previously won a gold medal at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and a bronze at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Last year, Adamczyková suffered a gruesome injury at the World Cup in Montafon, where she broke both legs and missed the 2022 Olympics. Adamczyková told reporters after her third-place finish yesterday that she plans to compete at the World Cup in Montafon again next month.

Protest Hundreds demonstrate against Czech government in Prague

Hundreds of people took part in a demonstration against the current Czech government held on Prague's Letná Plain on Saturday afternoon, according to police estimates. The protesters demanded more efforts to reduce the rate of inflation, and lower food prices in the Czech Republic.

"We are here to give our assessment of [Czech Prime Minister Petr] Fiala and his government regarding some specific things," Vladimír Štěpán, part of the group that organized the demonstration, said during a speech. Štěpán demanded both the resignation of the current Czech government along with board members of the Czech power company ČEZ.

Crime Three dead bodies uncovered by bike path on Prague's outskirts

Prague police detectives are investigating the deaths of three people found near a bike path between the neighborhoods of Čakovice and Letňany on the outskirts of the Czech capital, police spokesman Richard Hrdina told journalists on Saturday. According to Hrdina, the case may be a double murder and suicide.

"One of the initial theories is that this may be a double murder and a subsequent suicide," Hrdina said. "Detectives are now investigating what happened at the location, and they have ordered an autopsy on the bodies." Hrdina declined to disclose the ages or genders of the victims.

Saturday, November 27, 2022

Culture Christmas markets open across the Czech Republic

Christmas markets across the Czech Republic are opening this weekend, many for the first time since 2019 after being cancelled due to coronavirus-related restrictions in force in 2020 and 2021. The Christmas market at Prague's Old Town Square will officially be inaugurated today with a tree lighting ceremony from 4:00 p.m.; it will be lit daily until midnight through the first week in January.

Squares in Brno and Liberec were both full yesterday as Christmas markets opened with their own tree lighting ceremonies. "What people previously took for granted is more valued today, at least I feel that way," Liberec Mayor Jaroslav Zámečník told ČTK, referring to the closure of Christmas markets over the past two years.

Science Czech-operated telescope goes into operation in Chile

A telescoped modernized by a Czech company and remotely controlled by astronomers from the the Czech Republic's Academy of Sciences has gone into operation at the La Silla Observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert, reports Novinky.cz. The telescope, part of the PLATOSpec project will be used to monitor planets outside of our solar system.

"This is a modernized remote-controlled telescope that has a spectrograph for discovering exoplanets [and other astronomical objects]," Czech astronomer Petr Kabáth, who leads PATOSpec project, told Novinky. The E152 telescope used for the project was previously operated by the European Southern Observatory and has been out of operation for the past 20 years.

Politics Nine candidates now in the running for Czech President

The number of candidates running for Czech President in a January 2023 election has been reduced from 21 to nine following registration from the Czech Ministry of the Interior on Friday. The Ministry officially registered candidates that have received more than 50,000 signatures, dismissing candidates that did not meet this requirement.

The nine candidates is the same number that ran in the previous Czech presidential election in 2018. This year, they include former PM Andrej Babiš, retired general Petr Pavel, economist and teacher Danuše Nerudová, senators Pavel Fischer and Marek Hilšer, MP Jaroslav Bašta, union leader Josef Středula, former Charles University rector Tomáš Zima, and lawyer Denisa Rohanová.

Recreation Czech ski season officially beings in Krkonoše mountains

The Czech Republic's 2022-23 skiing season is officially underway as of this weekend as the Černá Hora resort in the Krkonoše Mountains has opened the first slope of the season. The Černá Hora resort, with a peak 1,250 meters above sea level, is typically the first to open in the Czech Republic; last year, it began its ski season on December 3.

A ski pass at the Černá Hora resort runs 390 crowns (350 crowns if purchased online) and includes rides up the slope in a cable car from Janské Lázně. The ski resort at Špindlerův Mlýn, the largest in the Czech Republic, is tentatively scheduled to open from December 10.

Post Czech post guarantees Christmas delivery for packages sent by December 21

Czech Post will guarantee the Christmas delivery of packages sent through the mail no later than December 21, spokesperson Matyáš Vitík told local media on Friday. If mail carriers cannot reach a recipient by December 23, they will be able to collect the package at a local post office until 11:00 a.m. on the morning of December 24.

New this year, Czech Post has introduced the "Balíkobox", a 24-hour pickup point where recipients can pick up their packages without the assistance of a mail employee (similar to pickup boxes run by Alza and other local companies). Czech Post plans to have 200 Balíkoboxes in operation by the end of the year.

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