Christmas Market in Pardubice

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.

The owl burger was particularly delicious….KIDDING!
Reflecting on a lovely day.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a racy nativity scene. Mary is looking rather…..ahem…..different to her usual portrayal.
These guys were great, mixing traditional instruments with a more modern flavour.
A nice touch, one of the stall workers put some of their products in the tree above.
Naturally the nativity scene with live animals was the highlight for children.
Some lovely home-made wreaths on display.
This is our effort. Sinead picked up the plain wicker wreath from the market and then we added the leaves and pine cones, berries, cinnamon sticks, ribbon and star and voila, one home-made wreath of our own.
A local blacksmith had a mini-forge set up to demonstrate his skills. He had some really beautiful pieces.
Really must found out more about this chap, future blog post perhaps.
The view of the market from the Green Tower.
Where’s Wally?
Trida Miru, the quietest main street you’ll ever see.
Market goers making their way into the square.
No surprises to see a long queue for Trdelník. Mmmmm sweet sweet doughy goodness.
The rooks off to their new hangout for the evening.
This man offered his baby to the Tree Gods. It was promptly devoured and the town was saved. Phew.
Say cheese, it’s a great family occasion.
Ding dong, lovely ornate wind chimes.
This girl really loves cheese!
I think the guy counting his money just farted…
The Green Tower stayed open late to allow visitors to look out over the market.
Great to see, traditional wooden toys, and not a plug in site.
Another child, about to be devoured by the Christmas Tree.
Some more home-made wreaths.
Beautiful table pieces.
Great to see so many people out and about.
Not everything was home-made, there were plenty of more regular market items for sale also.
Having a look around, a vendor takes a well deserved break towards the end of the night.
The traditional pernik ginger-bread is always a good seller.
Eyeing up a bargain, a market goer looks through one of the stalls.
Spoiler alert for the child of these people, you’re getting a wooden toy.
There really was something for everyone with very little repetition of stalls.
Closing up for the evening.
A really lovely event in a beautiful location. Very Christmassy indeed.
Isn’t it only beautiful, great job Pardubice.
New visitors entering the market from underneath the Green Tower.
Not sure if these were wind-chimes or mobiles for a crib. Why not both eh?
So amaze. Much pretty. Wow.
Ooh shiny
Pretty Christmas plants and candles.
Hello doggy
“Ah Cedric, great to see you old boy” “Miles my good friend how do you do?” or you know “woof woof” “woof, woof, woof”
But of course we ended up in Cafe Bajer for an end of night coffee.


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