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Czech Embassy Brings the Christmas Spirit to Washington

Thousands flock to its holiday celebration

Christmas is a very special time in the Czech Republic. With gratitude and joy, the Czech Embassy once again opened its doors during its Czech Christmas Market to share in the essence of the season with the Washington, DC, community on November 9, 2019. After receiving over 5,200 visitors at the six-hour market, the Embassy was beyond humbled by the overwhelming interest and support in Czech Christmas traditions, culture and products.

This year, the Czech Embassy and its grounds were turned into a delightful Christmas market with the visual guidance of Harddecore Creative Studio from Prague. Visitors were elated to explore Czech traditions, such as seeking out the lucky golden piglet, and hang their wishes for next year onto a twenty foot tall modern Christmas tree, all while enjoying the smell and taste of mulled wine and hot potato soup, specially prepared by the Czech Embassy’s Executive Chef.

Angelic voices of children from the American Sokol Washington DC and Slavic American Sokol captivated the audiences during two performances of Czech Christmas carols. Proudly displaying their heritage, the children, some as young as 3 years old, were dressed in traditional Czech national costumes. The popular Czech group Spirituál Kvintet delivered a special line up of folk and spiritual music as a magical touch near the end of the market.

Inside the Embassy, holiday shoppers relished gorgeous, handcrafted glass ornaments imported from the Czech Republic by the European Trading Company. This year, visitors marveled over Czech mouth blown glass ornaments, embellished with wooden, hand-carved figures and cornhusk. Other collections of all shapes, colors and sizes included forest themes with feathered birds, baby’s first Christmas collectibles, and classic regal red ornaments with golden designs.

As the Czech Republic is known for its glass making traditions going back to the 13th century, Topix Crystal Art, a distributer of fine Bohemian crystal imported from the Czech Republic, was on hand to offer its variety of both classical and modern designs. Visitors further delighted over luxurious crystal jewelry, such as elegant earrings and uniquely set rings, by the Czech trendsetter Preciosa, imported to the US via Berkana. Moreover, Shelalee, a US based company which creates jewelry using Czech glass beads, stunned with its collection of eye-popping rings and necklaces.

For the first time, a variety of fine art and rare prints made their debut on the market. Lillis Photography presented a large selection of award-winning images of architecture and landscape from Prague.  Robinson’s Rare Books and Fine Prints exhibited its exceptional stock of prints, etchings, lithographs and wood engravings by Czech artists from the past 100 years. OM Design & Photography offered its custom high-end calendars, focusing on the beauty of the Czech Republic. La Creation Fan presented its linen products with hand-printed original drawings, reminiscent of the Czech Republic. Visitors were fully intrigued by the considerable assortment of Czech literary works brought to the market by Plamen Press.

Guests savored baked goods, chocolates, and honey cakes. Bistro Bohem, the only restaurant offering Czech cuisine in Washington DC, served its signature delicious eggnog along with Czech Christmas cookies. La Bohemia Bakery, a European artisan bakery located in Rockville, Maryland, made Czech pastries, tarts and breads, which were flying off its shelves. Indulging in centuries old recipes, visitors stocked up on honey cakes from Marlenka, imported to the US by Honey Vita LLC. The eagerly awaited luxurious handmade chocolates by Steiner & Kovarik Prague Chocolate sold out in just a few hours!

Popular Czech liquors and fine wines also made great Christmas gifts for under the tree. R. Jelínek, a producer of Jelinek Slivovitz, offered tastings of the national brand and plum brandy from the Plum Valley of the Czech Republic. Becherovka, the number one exported spirit from the Czech Republic, was also enjoyed by visitors. Ahtel Wines, which imports brilliant wines from Moravia and through the Brilliant Wines Club brings them to US customers, presented its selection of great red and white wines.

In the children’s corner, the little ones enjoyed a variety of activities, learning about Czech Christmas traditions and discovering the bounce of the inflatable house. As a special touch, children decorated gingerbread cookies, which were made for the occasion by Ludmila Brychová in the Czech Republic. Following traditions going back to 1335AD, the artisan baked and decorated over a thousand gingerbread for the occasion.

As live animals are a part of traditional Christmas markets, families stopped for selfies and cuddles with adorable lambs, goats, alpacas, and bunnies of the Frederick County Sheep Breeders, a Maryland-based sheep and goat producers association, Blue Rock Farm and Whispering Meadows Alpaca Breeders, and then stocked up on wool and alpaca products for the winter months.

The Czech Embassy thanks everyone for coming and hopes to expand the Czech Christmas Market again next year!



Czech Christmas Market