- Posted January 2, 2013 by
Prague, Czech Republic
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Christmas where you live
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Christmas Creche in Prokopske udoli
Up in the trees are placed larger than life-sized angels, carefully carved with beautifully detailed faces and elegant wings. Sometimes there are several, but this year only one. Sometimes the trees are filled with eleborately carved bird mobiles that hang throughout the group of trees. Below the angel's watch is the crib which is empty until Christmas Eve when the Baby arrives.
The attending animals are scattered over the field so that children can climb on them and enjoy them. An owl stands guard over the seesaw so that every time the seesaw tips, the owl flutters its wings. Hidden in a stump is a mole, Krtek, a favorite Czech children's animal. A fox hides in another stump to the delight of small kids. A large camel is set on rockers and the Czech Lion is small enough that toddlers can climb on it without assistance.
The Black Woodpecker clatters down the pole which is topped by a black umbrella. The figures are life-sized. There is a pig, a dog and a tall stork for kids to climb on. Sometimes the angels are mounted high in the trees at 30-40 meters, requiring the assistance of utility ladders.
Who makes the figures? Nobody knows, but they are there year after year until the Visitation of Three Kings when the display vanishes once again to await the next year. Only locals in the area know of the creche hidden deep in the secret woods of Prokopske Udoli. The Prokops Valley is named after the legendary St Prokops who lived in the area. Not far from the creche is a small spring where the locals mounted mounted their own hand-carved, hand-painted icon to honor St Prokops, only to have it removed by the city.
Regardless whether the spring of St Prokops is officially recognized, the neighbors all welcome the annual Creche with the hand-carved animals and Baby Jesus and the area carries the name of the saint on the map.