When we arrived in Pardubice in January this year we were alas too late for the Christmas market, so we were determined to check it out this year. This day last week was the day the Christmas tree was turned on for the first time, something I’ve yet to witness outside of my living room. We arrived just in time to see the lights being switched on, which were met with a strangely muted reaction from the large crowd gathered in the square.
We had been down the day before to check out the stalls that had been set up in the square and wandered round to see if there were any gift ideas worth picking up/decoration ideas to try and recreate at home. Something that has always impressed me about the Czech Republic is the emphasis on tradition, traditional crafts, trades and customs that have been around for centuries are still around today, and that’s something that really resonates with me.
In these modern times with big shopping centres all but killing off the side streets of towns throughout the world. It’s really refreshing to see such large crowds coming to an event such as this. Sure AFI Palace is going to be really busy with people buying iPads and vouchers for the latest designers clothes, but down in the square tradition is king. There was an assortment of hand made products on display, ranging from Christmas decorations, to toys, to household items.
Of course no trip to a market in the square would be complete without a glass of Svařák (Mulled Wine) and perhaps some Lángos or Trdelník. On the Saturday I took a trip up to the tower to get an appreciation for the numbers present and it really was great to see a birds-eye view of the square and see it so full of people. On the night of the Christmas tree lighting we met up with my colleague from work and his girlfriend and had a lovely stroll around before heading to where else but Cafe Bajer for some much needed warmth.
The market is going to be back on for a week starting tomorrow and I’d really like to head down again and get some more candid street style photographs, something i’m usually terribly shy at doing. My Sigma 30mm lens means I can’t stand too far back so it encourages you to get in close to get that shot. I love street photography but it’s something I’ve always been too nervous to really try. Perhaps a bit more practice down the market will help with that.