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Holiday Cheer Returns

The Embassy of the Czech Republic was delighted to hold its annual Christmas market in person on November 6, 2021. 

Offering extended hours and limited time slots, the Czech Embassy was able to safely welcome close to 2,500 people to its extensive grounds for a predominantly outdoor Czech Christmas Market. After over a year of Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns, a joyous atmosphere filled the air as excited guests browsed almost twenty vendors’ festive collections and traditional Czech goods.

Holiday shoppers marveled at the intricate designs of the hand-made glass ornaments imported from the Czech Republic by the European Trading Company. This year, the ornament selection included every color, design and shape one can imagine along with various animals, exotic and local birds, and baby’s first Christmas collectibles. Some special pieces consisted of mouth blown glass ornaments, embellished with wooden, hand-carved figures and cornhusk.

Topix Crystal Art, a distributer of fine Bohemian crystal imported from the Czech Republic, offered its variety of both classical and modern designs, including vases, glasses, and display glassware. Visitors admired crystal earrings, rings, and necklaces by the Czech trendsetter Preciosa, imported exclusively to the US via Berkana, as well as Shelalee, a US based company, which creates stunning jewelry using Czech glass beads. 

Back with a variety of fine art prints, Lillis Photography presented breathtaking images of historic landmarks, architecture, and landscape from the Czech Republic. OM Design & Photography offered its custom high-end calendars, focusing on the beauty of the Czech Republic as well as cuisine. SunnyDayArt delighted with traditional ornaments as well as Christmas cookies, baked from scratch by recipes treasured for generations. Visitors were captivated by the assortment of Czech literary works brought to the market by Plamen Press

For the first time, Czech businesses from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, were represented. Nové Yoga & Wellness Studio was able to reach new audiences at the market for its online yoga, mindfulness, and nutrition classes. Sharka Studio, a newly established private art studio, shared the beauty of Czechia through its paintings. Wills International brought a selection of unique Czech wines from the Spevak Winery in the Moravian region and impressed with its grape varieties.  

Popular Czech liquors 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, sold out of its stock! 

The festive atmosphere was complete with the smell of hot mulled wine and apple cider. Visitors also enjoyed delicious Czech pastries, breads, and fruit tarts, made by La Bohemia Bakery, a European artisan bakery located in Maryland. The Embassy Chef prepared juicy sausages and mouthwatering potato soup. Everyone was asking for his recipe! 

For entertainment, 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 folk band Orchester Praževica performed traditional European Czardas and Gypsy swing, influenced by jazz and blues.

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 to the Czech Christmas Market to enjoy Czech culture and traditions and hopes to welcome everyone back again next year.