Fireworks: An Explosive Backdrop for Reflection
By Bruno Zalubil
I have a friend who tried to teach American holidays to his Czech high school students. He had flashcards with photos.
Raise an image of Santa Claus and the kids say: Christmas.
Raise a picture of a haunted house: Halloween.
Raise a heart-shaped greeting card: Valentine’s Day.
Raise a picture or a sky filled with the colorful patterns of fireworks: New Year’s Eve.
Wait, what? Fireworks fit with the July 4 Independence Day holiday in the United States.
Not so in the Czech Republic. Expect a lot of fireworks to celebrate the turn of the calendar on Sunday night.
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Fireworks are a passion for Czechs. The answer to the fireworks flashcard could actually be many things besides New Year’s Eve: A birthday. The end of summer camp. A victory by the Draci Brno baseball team. And, near my home last weekend, 1:12 p.m., 3:47 p.m. and 8:47 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
And 2:12 p.m. on Dec. 22 and 5:23 p.m. on Dec. 23. People really like their fireworks around here, and an overcast sky is enough of a backdrop to set them off.
It makes sense. Brno, of course, is famous around the world for the Ignisis Brunensis international fireworks competitions. Tens of thousands of people surround the Brno Reservoir several nights a year to watch some of the most impressive and innovative firework displays in the world.
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There will be a public firework display over Špilberk on New Year’s Day at 6 p.m. It will be big and beautiful and visible from around the city.
The night before, though, the city will resemble a war zone because of all of the private celebrations. Most will not be able to wait until 12 o’clock so expect sporadic explosions throughout the evening, a gradual build up throughout the night and an overall city-wide climax at midnight.
A lot of money will, literally, go up in smoke, but a lot of parties will fill the sky with a multi-colored and explosive display.
I’ve come to appreciate the fireworks as a time for reflection. I grew up with fireworks on July 4 when the summer night was hot. I see how they make sense as part of New Year’s Eve festivities. Drinks and toasts and kisses and hugs are great, and fireworks provide a nice backdrop to it all.
It is nice to just stand together with your friends and family and watch the colorful designs explode across the sky. It gives you time to think about the year that has passed —a happy and healthy family, a successful professional year, a new online English-language newspaper, a Kometa title, a Draci title — and it gives you time to think about the next year — growing kids, interesting projects, more events throughout Brno, the Winter Olympics, the World Cup . . .
Happy New Year and Good Luck in 2018.
Update BD staff (1/1/2018 6:56)
The above-mentioned firework display over Špilberk on New Year’s Day was not an actual event of a private organization.
When preparing the article, its author called the City of Brno and was told that Brno didn’t plan any official firework show.
The event thanks to the marketing and promotion was followed by nearly 3.000 people on Facebook. After the announced time of what was supposed to be the beginning of the show, the organizers wrote on the event’s Facebook page that, in fact, the show was not real and they wished to have an official New Year’s celebration party in Brno.
Brno Daily apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the promotion of what we thought was a real event.