Prague Zoo has raised nearly 13.5 million crowns (approximately 840,000
AUD) through a public donation fund to help in the relief efforts to
Australia, which was ravaged by devastating bushfires, the zoo’s director
Miroslav Bobek announced on Sunday.
According to Mr. Bobek, the funds will be used for immediate relief but also for mid-term or long-term projects aimed at protection of certain locations or animal species. The collection was established on January 6 and will continue for the next two months.
At least 30 people have been killed in the unprecedented bushfires, which have swept large parts of Australia since October, and around 10 million hectares of land has burned. It is also estimated that around a billion animals have been lost to the fire.
As bushfires continue to ravage large swathes of Australia, people across the world are donating money to help in the relief efforts. This is also the case in the Czech Republic, where millions of crowns have been raised through various institutional and individual pledges. The Prague Zoo alone has raised more than CZK 4,7 million to help local fauna.
Prague police have detained a 38-year-old man suspected of raping and
robbing a 56-year-tourist on Christmas Day.
The man had approached the woman in the Palmovka district early on December 25 with an offer to help her find the bus to her hotel. When crossing through a park, he forced her at knifepoint to perform oral sex.
Police had circulated a CCTV image of the suspect, who was apprehended in Prague 8 thanks to an anonymous caller. They say he has previously been convicted of a violent crime.
The traditional procession of the Three Kings (Kaspar, Melichar and
Balthazar, who followed the star of Bethlehem to worship the baby Jesus)
passed through the historical centre of Prague on Sunday afternoon.
The three kings set off on camels from Malostranské Square at 3 pm. They then crossed Charles Bridge to Old Town Square, where Jakub Jan Ryba’s classic "Czech Christmas Mass" was performed.
The procession was preceded by a service led by Cardinal Dominik Duka, who will blessing carollers taking part in the annual Three Kings Collection for charity.
The collection, which runs until January 14, is organised by Charita, the largest non-state provider of social services in the country.
The start of the New Year has kicked off the largest and most successful fund-raiser in the country – the now traditional Three Kings Collection, organised by the Catholic charity Caritas. Now in its twentieth year, the collection has in total raised more than 1.2 billion crowns in aid of the needy.
January 1st will see the start of the Three Kings Collection, the largest
and most successful fund-raiser in the country.
Organized by the Catholic charity Caritas the Three Kings Collection, involves thousands of volunteers, most of them children, taking to the streets dressed as the Three Wise Men, singing carols and asking people to donate money to charity.
24,000 carollers are expected to take part in the charity event this year.
Since the year 2,000 the collection has raised more than 1.1 billion crowns in aid of the needy. It lasts for a fortnight.
Thirty years ago this Christmas, Czechs were in an especially festive spirit – the entire Communist Party leadership had resigned a month before, and in a matter of days a majority democratic parliament would elect Václav Havel as president, bringing the Velvet Revolution to a glorious end. Ahead of the holiday, I spoke to Adéla and Petr Mucha – a historian and theologian, respectively, born into practicing Catholic families under Communism – about their experiences with the “Underground Church”, religious figures active in the dissident Charter 77
Czech Christmas wouldn’t be complete without traditional Christmas carols. To mark the occasion, we’ll be listening to an album entitled Christmas for Grown-Ups or Vánoce dospělých. The album was recorded by the Concept Art Orchestra, a leading Czech jazz band, and offers a slightly different take on the traditional seasonal repertoire.
Czech Christmas is unthinkable without a vast variety of cookies. Typically, Czech households start baking them at the beginning of the festive season so that they can stock up on them well ahead of the main holiday. Some of the cookies are for consumption, others are intended mainly as decorations for the Christmas tree. Vít Pohanka visited a Pardubice bakery to find out more about the latter:
Hundreds of people packed Prague’s main railway station on Monday for the
traditional performance of Jakub Jan Ryba’s Christmas Mass, the most
popular piece of Czech Christmas music ever written which resounds in
millions of households during the festive season.
The tradition, launched 19 years ago by conductor Lukáš Prchal, involves musicians and professional singers, but anyone who has a musical instrument or a passion for music can come and join in the performance or simply enjoy the music.