La Putyka, an Unforgettable Show

Tourists ask me all the time what to do in Prague but when it comes to shows and entertainment for English-speaking tourists in Prague, they face one particular challenge. The language barrier. Despite all these wonderful shows in Prague theatres, the language barrier makes it impossible for tourists to enjoy them properly. As an experienced tourist guide from Prague, I always want to recommend something special, something I would enjoy myself. Recently, I saw an excellent show to visit in Prague, for both the locals and non-Czech speakers. Primarily visual with very little or no spoken word, it is the ideal entertainment for tourists coming to Prague!

Foto: HN - Lukáš Bíba
Foto: HN – Lukáš Bíba

The show La Family is performed by a group called Circus La Putyka. But don’t expect anything like a circus in the traditional sense. Instead, remember Ernest Hemingway, who once said you could write a novel with only six words: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Hemingway wanted his readers to use their own imagination and that is exactly the basic concept of the La Family show. The performance is surreal, almost Dadaistic and there is no real storyline to follow. So, it is entirely up to you to interpret it.

Foto: HN - Lukáš Bíba
Foto: HN – Lukáš Bíba

The show is full of great visual effects and acrobatics. My favourite part was when one of the artists stepped on the trampoline and started doing moves in slow motion. I was also stunned by the number of artists on stage at the same time. I counted nearly 20. The show is diverse in terms of languages, too. I’ve heard Czech, English, Italian and French. And this is exactly my main point: you have no reason to worry about whether you’ll understand the actors. Me personally, I speak only two of these languages.

Foto: HN - Lukáš Bíba
Foto: HN – Lukáš Bíba

If you are into hip stuff, you’re going to love the space where the show is performed. Its Czech name “Jatka 78” stands for a “slaughterhouse” as the the whole area used to be one. Before I tell you a little bit about the history of this amazing place, let me first describe the atmosphere. The walls are not perfectly white, implying this space used to have a completely different purpose. The former slaughterhouse was closed after 100 years of operation and in 1983, it was turned into the Holešovice Market. Today it is known as Little Hanoi. There are countless stalls, restaurants and shops at the market run mainly by the Vietnamese, the largest minority of immigrants in the Czech Republic. If you decide to see a show in Jatka 78, I suggest stopping for a meal in the excellent Vietnamese restaurant Phang Trang, which serves really amazing Vietnamese food. There is a good possibility that this visit might turn into one of the highlights of your entire stay in Prague.

Christmas tree light up in Prague will be special again!

There is one event, which all citizens of Prague truly love. Not even they get out of their warm and comfortable homes, but they will take their whole families just to see it. I’m talking about a traditional light up of a Christmas tree at Old Town Square in Prague.

The tree is going to be first lit up on 26th November at 17:30 and is going to be 31 meters tall and its age is estimated at around 70 years. If you can’t make it on time, don’t worry, because this is not the only time the Christmas tree is going to be lit up this year.

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In the past few years, the city of Prague, has been concerned about terrorist attracts and it changed its concept about lighting up the tree, which makes it even better for tourist who want to see it. Two years ago, there was one big event when the Christmas tree was lit up at a certain hour on a certain day. In the new concept the tree is going to be lit up every hour between 17:30 and 20:30 until 6th January. As a citizen of Prague, I do not really understand why the authorities are so concerned about terrorist attacks, but new era requires better precautions, so we all are going to be safe and sound.

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As a spectator, you might get cold while watching the Christmas tree being lit up. I’m mentioning this, because the tree is literally surrounded by traditional Czech Christmas market and you could help yourself with some warm mulled wine, tea or punch. My personal favourite is warmed almond mead. But the alcohol is not all what Christmas market offers. You could buy yourself a nicely decorated gingerbread or a handmade Christmas tree decorations and baubles.

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It is important that Christmas market have got something for everybody, including the music fans. Every year, there is a stage by the Christmas tree where children choirs and various musicians perform Czech Christmas carols. You might hear carols like Good King Wenceslas. Even though this is English Christmas carol, the story is linked to Czech saint Wenceslas I. from 9th century.

Vanocni trhy 2006 - If someone read this, write me e-mail

There is another tradition you might love to see as well. Celebration of Saint Nicolaus day. This happens on 5th of December. People will get dressed up as devils, angels and Saint Nicolauses and on the evening they will head into the city centre of Prague as a triplet. The idea behind is to scare little kids. If the kid was not behaving well all year long and it was annoying its parents, then they might pass it to the devil, who puts them into massive sack and take it to the hell with him. There is also possibility that kid was good and in that case, the kid will receive some sweets from angel and Saint Nicolaus. I do remember being so scared as a kid as I never was good all year long.

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I hope you are going to embrace idea of Chrismassy Prague and you’ll add it onto your travel list. In case you would like to learn more about Prague, book a tour with Think Prague and we’ll make sure you have the best possible experience.