Experience retro Czechoslovak Christmas

A large exhibition at the Dancing House Gallery delves into Christmas past

You can get a glimpse of what Christmas was like in Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and ’80s at the new exhibit called Retro zima za socíku (Retro Winter Under Socialism) on three floors of the Dancing House Gallery. The exhibition runs till March 3, 2019.
Retro zima includes almost 1,300 objects from private collections or borrowed from Barrandov Studios and Czech Television. These include costumes worn by Jiřina Bohdalová on popular TV shows.

For some the exhibition is a trip down memory lane, and for others, it is a glimpse into a strange world that they never experienced.

“Many of us still have strong memories of the ’70s and ’80s, but the exhibition is for all generations,” gallery director Robert Vůjtek said.

The glass-encased ground floor of the Dancing House Gallery will be lit for several months and has been transformed into a bygone version of the Kotva department store, filled with old Christmas decorations, clothing and original items from Czechoslovakia.
There is a richly decorated tree, a car that will drop gifts and a replica of a typical flat where preparations for Christmas Eve are in full swing. The kitchen has appliances by Eta and Tesla, which no family was without.

Part of the exhibition is a private collection of toys from the ’70s and ’80s from a museum in Rychnov nad Kněžnou. Some items form the 50-year-old museum have never been exhibited before.

There is a children’s floor with an interactive children's area with original illustrations from various children's illustrators and animated TV shows. Small visitors will be able to make masks related to the holidays. There is also a children's corner with traditional building blocks by Seva.

During the exhibition, several competitions will be held for all age groups.

There is also a shelf in the gallery where children can send letters to Ježíšek (Baby Jesus). In the Czech tradition, Ježíšek brings gifts on Christmas Eve. St Nicholas plus an angel and devil come on the evening of Dec. 5, but just to give out candy or small treats. Father Christmas does not figure into the local system.

The last floor looks into everyday life in Czechoslovakia in the ’70s and ’80s and is devoted to electronics and other everyday needs. The products of leading national companies such as Madeta, Kofola, Eta, Fatra, JAWA, Tesla and others are exhibited.
The exhibition shows the original products and food packaging, and there is period clothing that could be bought, be made to order or made at home according to designs in magazine Burda.

The exhibition will be open at the Dancing House Gallery every day between 9 am and 8 pm.

For more information visit: www.galerietancicidum.cz or www.facebook.com/events

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