New Year’s Day fireworks will mark anniversaries

The 11-minute show will trace a century of Czech history and use new techniques

The New Year's Day fireworks in Prague will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Czechoslovakia, which was established Oct. 28, 1918.

The fireworks will be fired from Letná on January 1 at 6 pm. The show will last 11 minutes, and the city will pay about Kč 1 million.

The central theme is One Hundred Years in the Capital City of Prague. The fireworks start a year of celebrations across the Czech Republic.

“Years in the 20th century ending in eight almost regularly recorded the fates of the Czech or Slovak nation. And Prague has witnessed many events that have significantly affected our history,” Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) said on the City Hall website.

The fireworks show over Prague will have several “paintings” to remind people of the pride associated with the First Republic, the freedom and hope of the Prague Spring of 1968 and the joyful feelings of the Velvet Revolution, followed by the insight into the 21st century. A cross-section of the history of the capital and the Czech nation will end with tones of the national anthem, according to the City Hall website.

A new feature will effect in the shapes and colors of the Czech flag that were made in Italy. The show will also include new types of Japanese spherical bombs, 18-meter tall red pillars and large-scale bombs with a Czech flag effect.

The fireworks celebrate one more anniversary, which falls directly on Jan. 1. It is 25 years since the establishment of the independent Czech Republic. “The centennial celebrations of today's non-existent common state of Czechs and Slovaks that await us in October 2018 will certainly be a great opportunity to recall years of common existence. Two nations, though not together, but thanks to a common history one next to each other, can celebrate the former federation,” Krnáčová said.

Measures to protect animals and birds will be implemented in the vicinity of the launch.

The city council had considered making the New Year's fireworks silent to protect pets and wild animals, who get stressed by the loud noise. However, this is not possible due to the scale of the show. The previous show had 4,795 shots and 236 effects. The number of shots for this year was not announced.

The show has been moved several times. Initially, the pyrotechnics were launched from Střelecký Ostrov but then due to concerns over swans injuring themselves, the show was moved to Letná park. Dog owners in that area complained that the park was closed all day and also that the noise disturbed their dogs, who have acute hearing.

Two years ago the display was launched from Vítkov Hill in Prague 3, which is used less by dog walkers and is a bit more isolated. But people complained that the show was hard to see, especially from the city center.

Last year it moved back to Letná but visibility was very poor due to foggy weather.

New Year's Day is now one of the few times that fireworks can be launched in the city center. A regulation now limits the use of any fireworks in the historical center and near the waterfront, except on special occasions. Fireworks are no longer be allowed in the historical center within 50 meters of the Vltava river and on its islands and within 250 meters of inpatient medical facilities and places that care for the elderly and disabled.

In addition to New Year's Eve, large fireworks shows will be allowed on Easter (which falls between March 22 and April 25), Christmas (Dec. 24) and Jan Hus Day (July 6). There is also an exception for May 15, when there is a celebration on the Vltava called Navalis for Sv. Jan Nepomuk that ends in fireworks.

Related articles
Velvet Divorce was 25 years ago - Prague.TV, 05.12.2017 
Czechoslovakia to celebrate 100th anniversary in 2018 - Prague.TV, 23.11.2017

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