One of the most-seen public events in Prague across recent years has been the city’s annual New Year’s Day fireworks show, which rings in the New Year in spectacular fashion.
Tens of thousands of Prague residents and visitors gather every year to see the city’s extensive show, which includes a themed fireworks display set off from Letná Park above the city center (save for one year, when the show was moved to Vítkov).
The Czech Republic has been celebrating some big anniversaries in recent years, and past show have been dedicated to key events in Czech history.
Last year’s fireworks celebrated 100 years since the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, and this year’s show commemorated 30 years since the Velvet Revolution in 1989 that led to the end of communist rule in the country.
Expats.cz was on the scene in front of central Prague bridge Čechův most, underneath the city’s Metronome, to capture the event amidst thousands of spectators:
(Note: audio muted through much of the video due to automatic YouTube copyright claims. View a lower-quality version with audio at our Facebook page.)
The emotional 10+ minute show was framed around a father navigating his young daughter through the events leading up to the Velvet Revolution, and included Marta Kubišová’s Modlitba pro Martu (A Prayer for Martha), which became the unofficial anthem of the event.
The show concluded with Jaroslav Hutka’s Náměšť, and also featured recordings of the crowds of protestors on Prague streets during the 1989 Velvet Revolution.
Along with the Czech songs, yesterday’s fireworks show also included hits from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, music that had come to represent western freedom while the country remained behind the Iron Curtain.
The spectacular display cost the city of Prague 1.7 million crowns to put on. Afterwords, Prague mayor Zdeněk Hřib took to the microphone.
“Prague is one of the most beautiful historical cities in the world,” he said.