Saint Nicholas delivers for Czech kids with drive-through delights

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Saint Nicholas day took on some new twists for celebrating Czechs on Saturday, from drive-through visits to kitting his accompanying angels and devils out in gloves and masks so that they could hand out treats. The Czech version of the holiday includes Saint Nicholas visiting with an angel and devil to reward well-behaved children with sweets and less angelic ones with a lump of coal or a potato. But rules limiting social contact due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant the usual custom of costumed trios roaming Czech neighbourhoods to greet children was given a make-over.

Reuters December 06, 2020 00:11:31 IST
Saint Nicholas delivers for Czech kids with drive-through delights

Saint Nicholas delivers for Czech kids with drivethrough delights

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Saint Nicholas day took on some new twists for celebrating Czechs on Saturday, from drive-through visits to kitting his accompanying angels and devils out in gloves and masks so that they could hand out treats.

The Czech version of the holiday includes Saint Nicholas visiting with an angel and devil to reward well-behaved children with sweets and less angelic ones with a lump of coal or a potato.

But rules limiting social contact due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant the usual custom of costumed trios roaming Czech neighbourhoods to greet children was given a make-over.

At one outdoor site on the top level of a shopping mall parking lot, horned devils danced around a car to scare the children inside before an angel swept with a bag of sweets.

"We just drove into a fairytale world and everything came alive," said Lucie Cigankova, who brought her daughter Anicka.

"Experiences like this are great during the coronavirus."

The Czech government advised families to scale back or even forego the holiday as social distancing rules require masks to be worn inside and no large gatherings outdoors.

"I would recommend omitting Nicholas this year," Czech Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havliceck told iDNES.cz.

After curbing one of Europe's fastest spreads of coronavirus, and despite fears the re-opening could lead to a surge of infections, Czechs cooped up for weeks headed eagerly out to shops, hairdressers, restaurants and pubs allowed to open with capacity requirements this week.

Daily infections still hover in the thousands, while the death rate in recent weeks ranks among the highest in Europe and has jumped to 8,738 in the last two months.

(Reporting by Jiri Skacel: Writing by Michael Kahn, Editing by Alexander Smith)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.