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    Posted December 2, 2012 by
    Prague, Czech Republic
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Christmas where you live

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    Christmas Market, Prague Czech Republic


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     American expat pogomcl shot these images of Christmas preparations in her adopted home of Prague in the Czech Republic.

    "The annual Christmas Market arrives in Prague on the Old Town Square," she says. "Tourists flock in by the droves to buy small handmade presents and enjoy the winter holidays."

    "All kinds of scrumptious fast foods are to be had from freshly roasted meat over open spits to mulled wine and the ever great Czech beer."
    - eoghan, CNN iReport producer

    Chistmas season opens in Prague with the huge tree decorated on Old Town Square before the Tyn Church. Every year the Old Square is site of the annual Christmas Market that draws thousands of tourists into the center of Prague after a short lapse of sanity when streets are safe to navigate for the locals.

    The Christmas market is a gathering place for outdoor shopping with kiosks that are loaded with traditional Czech wares and gifts from woollen hand knit goods to gaily decorated hand-blown Christmas balls. The air is filled with music coming form the large outdoor stage planted under the towers of the majestic Tyn Church.

    The market surrounds the oversized central scuplture on the square of Jan Hus angrily denouncing the corruption of the church in the ring of the Tyn Church, St Nicholas and the Old Town Hall. In the center of the market is a small bridge to nowhere that allows tourists to climb up and take their views of the crowded market below. The light is either too bright or too dark as the square is overshadowed by the soaring towers of neighboring buildings and the crowded roofs of kiosks below.

    The warm weather and blue skies brings out hordes of tourist who munch down on the local festival foods offered at gaily decorated kiosks. Street food includes klobas, a large sausage with dark bread, rolled puff pastry and palatschinken, a thin pancake batter similar to a crepe. Roasted pork and chicken scent the air as their spits turn round over open fires. A quick march about the square encounters swarms of tourists; a blacksmithery with bells and armor; food, food, food and more food; beer and coffee flowing like the Vltava and crowded huts filled with local handmade goods.

    Overall a festive spirit pervades the square with horses dressed in holiday livery including jingle bells that jingle merrily as the fiakers roll through the dense crowds bearing their occupants away from the turmoil of the noisey crowd.

    Around the corner under the Old Town Hall, a limousine is parked for a bridal couple who have nuptials in the Old Town City Hall. The black limousine is decked with white roses as the bride and groom step out to the applauding crowd.
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