Abandoned baby girl inspired Brno’s Christmas tree tradition
The Christmas tree at Freedom Square will have a lighting ceremony on November 24! Photo: Michal Růžička, TICmB
Brno, Nov 17 (BD) – On Wednesday, Brno received a traditional annual gift from the village Bílovice nad Svitavou: an 18-meter-tall spruce.
The tradition of bringing a tree from Bílovice nad Svitavou is associated with the Czech writer, poet, journalist and translator Rudolf Těsnohlídek.
In December, shortly before Christmas 1919, Rudolf Těsnohlídek was hiking with his friends in the woods near his home town Bílovice nad Svitavou. On the cold evening, they discovered an abandoned seventeen-month old baby girl. They rescued the baby girl and took her to the police station in Bílovice.
The girl was later adopted by a family from Brno and died in 1997 in Prague.
Těsnohlídek, inspired by this event, established a tradition of transporting Christmas trees from Bílovice to Brno and fundraising for children in need.
With the earnings of the first fundraiser organized by Těsnohlídek , Children’s Home Dagmar (Dětský domov Dagmar) was built in Brno.
Almost 100 years later, Brno’s Christmas events continue to support local charities.
Rudolf Těsnohlídek is best-known for his novel Liška Bystrouška (Vixen Sharp Ears) which was first published in 1921. The text inspired Leoš Janáček’s opera Příhody Lišky Bystroušky introduced in 1923 (The Cunning Little Vixen).
Before the farewell ceremony in Bílovice nad Svitavou, two new trees were planted. Vanda Navrátilová, granddaughter of the writer Rudolf Těsnohlídek, the original creator of this tradition, helped plating the young trees.
A special tractor with a trailer carried the tree to Brno.
“The Christmas tree is beautiful and meets all the safety standards,” the official Brno city website reported.
On November 24 at 5 pm, the tree will be lit up and the Christmas season in Brno will officially start!