Noilly Prattle: Old Man Winter Fare Thee Well

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Old Man Winter Fare Thee Well

poster for Carneval
It's been a rather long and bitterly cold snap this winter in Prague and throughout Europe. People were bundled up to the eyeballs (literally) in -15 C. temperatures. It was long underwear, woolen caps and triple and quadruple layers on the upper body.

carnevale mask
Now, it's time to bid winter goodbye and party before the Lenten season—yup, it's Mardi Gras time. The Venetian Carnavale and New Orleans' Mardi Gras are a couple of the better known ones, but Prague also has a long tradition of pre-lenten carnivals, interrupted during the Communist era, but being revived again as the Bohemian Carnevale.

comedy show in Old Town 
The festivities last about a week and end with Ash Wednesday signaling the start of Lent in Roman Catholicism. Lent, of course, is supposed to be a time of fasting and penance for one's “sinful life”, but before the penitence let the party roll on (adding on, I suppose, to the shopping cart of “sins” for which Lent is all the more necessary).

anti-ACTA demonstration
We have had a look see at some of the events (comedy shows every hour in the Old Town Square) and are going to watch a masked parade from Prague Castle, past our neighborhood, and on to the Old Town Square today. These events are free for the watching. BTW, there happened to be a large demonstration opposing Internet censorship at the same time as that comedy show the day we were there. The demonstration attracted far more people than the show in fact.

Clam Gallas Palace entrance
Tomorrow night we have tickets for an evening concert of baroque music and dancing to be held in an old baroque palace with an interesting name—Clam-Gallasův palác—across the Moldau River from here in Lesser Town. Not an opera, but we like baroque music and are looking forward to this concert.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very interesting, Joe. No idea that they had Mardi Gras in Prague ad didn't know the beginnings of it. Makes sense…religion sure makes people nuts, doesn't it.

And how appropriate to have the demonstration at the same time! Clever people…

Baroque music in a castle?? What could be better!