Sunday, 31 May 2015

Czech Republic – Two of the happiest festivals in the world

May 30

Hello everyone!

One of the many great things about living in Prague is the number of events it hosts which you can access fairly easily. It is not like London, where you seem to need to know about events in advance or enter a lottery to gain entry to them; nor is it like Astana, where worthwhile occasions can seem few and far between due to its location and climate. Prague is a happy middle ground, allowing us to have many great experiences.



Prague recently hosted a cheesecake festival, in which many local bakeries and cheesecake companies showcased their finest products. It would have been rude not to go.


I’m surprised that a festival such as this wasn’t packed but it may have been explained by the difficulty we had in finding the place. We eventually found it after walking through a small industrial estate. Worth every wrong turn.


You could pay a small entrance fee or, for a few more crowns, buy a ticket which allowed you a free sample at each of the stalls inside. Sharing the ticket worked out nicely as it would have been a lot of cake to handle on my own!


What I found particularly impressive was the care that had been taken in creating these miniscule samples. Each was hand-crafted and looked magnificent. Needless to say, they all tasted phenomenal. My favourite was the blueberry cheesecake pictured below.


We let ourselves indulge in such large quantities of cheesecake partly because we knew we would burn some of it off the following week by participating in the Prague Colour Run, a five kilometre jaunt around an area slightly to the north of the centre of the Czech Republic’s capital city. In fact, the race started across the road from the site where the cheesecake festival had been seven days before.


Calling it a ‘run’ is slightly facetious exercise due to the fact that it is difficult to…run. It was a very popular event with thousands of people from all ages and backgrounds taking part. It was, however, easy enough to sign up.




The idea of a colour run emanates from the Indian festival of ‘Holi’. I've taken part in festivals such as this before. More details can be found here but essentially you start the day or jog in white and finish awash with all the colours Joseph would have dreamt of on his dreamcoat.




The Prague Colour Run describes itself as the ‘happiest run in the world’ and the atmosphere was certainly more reminiscent of a carnival than a race. Dance music was blaring out from a large stage near the start line as people amassed and prematurely exploded their small bags of coloured powder over one another.




Indian by nature, the throwing of colour on each other whilst walking around the park was made more Czech by an accompanying product not usually partaken in Holi: beer!


As it was a muggy May day, we decided to take our time sauntering and skipping around the course. The downside of this was that painting powder was somewhat scarce when we arrived at each kilometre mark, which housed a different colour each time. We thus had to get creative in order to get colourful.




After a while our multi-coloured tops and tutus (I need to learn how to say ‘no’) were able to jog across the line, earning a much-needed bottle of water and a scarcely deserved medal.




It’s always nice to participate in a large group activity which has such a positive and upbeat atmosphere. Next year I need to take full advantage of what this brilliant city has to offer and attend more of its numerous events. The Prague Colour Run was a lovely way to burn off at least a few of the cheesecake samples from the previous week.




Love you all


Matt

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