Preview: Carnevale Praha
A whole lot of fun heading into the Holy Season
Posted: January 30, 2013
Sometimes it's hard to remember how Catholic this place is. Sure, there are the churches, grand and gold but used for real worship by not so many. And there's the Santo Niño Jesús de Praga available in miniatures, if you're looking for a trinket to take back to your Spanish-speaking country of origin. And there's the Ježíš Maria invocation in all life's inconveniences. But Catholic Catholic? No, even the real Catholics are more catholic than anything here.
So it's not odd, one supposes, that the annual carnival is a binge without a purge. Lent's just around the corner, and though few are giving anything up, the city is certainly gearing itself up with its annual Masopust ceremonies and this week's Carnevale Praha.
It far from rivals Rio or the Rheinland, but there's plenty to do, and you may wear what you will. You may find it worth your while to wear layers, colorful and extravagant layers, when you go to, say, Divertimento Furioso, a stage on Old Town Square for public consumption of jugglers and acrobats and whatever bottles you bring in your bag from Thursday, Jan. 31, through Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Covered faces come obligatory for the Clustering of Masks, commencing at Clams-Gallas Palace Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2:30 p.m., to conclude back on Old Town Square, with the aforementioned performances and whatever remains in your bag. The King of Carnevale even implores you to do just that.
When: Jan. 31-Feb. 13
Where: Various locations
"We call on, everyone, member or nonmember of any network or center don't waste a time and prepare your mask, costume or pram and join the most popular part of Prague Carnevale. Let your participation undoubtedly be a decoration of it!" His Highness has written on the event's official website.
There's more, much more, nearly two weeks of events, indoors and out, none so somber and sober as Lent would be if it were generally observed. There are even a couple of traditional pig slaughters if that's your thing.
Whatever your thing, this is a big thing and a fun thing and time's a wastin', so if you haven't planned what to wear for the next two weeks, get thinking, and "don't waste a time."
Milan Gagnon can be reached at