Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Cesky Krumlov Nativity

This evening Pushkin and I, plus my visiting parents, went to the Town square where the residents perform their yearly Nativity. It's always a fantastic event, as it is completely un-official, un-sponsored, devised by our friends from the Mill but enjoyed by all, old and young alike.

People joyfully dress up as angels, shepherds, farm-folk, etc, and those who don't take part all come to watch in a big crowd. It starts with a procession of musicians playing carols, then angels dancing and prancing - the most delicious are the little children of course, but the odd beer-bellied dad is also something to behold! There follows a more solemn procession with Mary and Joseph with a (proper live) baby, and more carols and dancing. Last in are the Three Kings on horses - provided by our friends of the Pohoda stable. The shepherds settle by a roaring campfire, the carols are cheerfully joined in by the whole audience. The last, most solemn, carol - a Czech 'Onto us the Christ is born' is sung in all seriousness by everyone on the square upon which the little angels all go round with plates and baskets of biscuits (baked at the Mill) and little jars with candles, handing them to the audience as presents.

The whole thing is absolutely lovely and genuine. Always brings tears to my eyes, I am not ashamed to admit. My parents loved it, and Pushkin took these photos for you to share. We were just sorry there was no snow this year - plenty on the hills but here in the town it's just got too warm lately. But even so, I wouldn't have missed it for the world :-)

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