Curiosities, traditions and legends of Prague

Prague's double house numbers

Most buildings have a double civic number: those on a blue background indicate the location of the building along the way and are arranged in sequential order, with numbers equal to one side of the road and odd on the other; The numbers on the red background indicate the location of the building in the neighborhood on the basis of the old house numbering system, so usually the number has no relation to those of neighboring buildings.


The many Prague's legends

The numerous legends of Prague create a cultural atmosphere filled with mystery, dream, sometimes nightmare, based on the popular tradition and to which he draws much of his literature, also influencing Kafka.

Princess Libussa (Libuše) is considered to be the founder of the city for predicting her birth and future splendor. He gave her the name of Prah, which means "threshold", having seen the vision of a man tracing the threshold of his home. In the narrow streets of the ghetto, in its subways, in its houses, the popular fantasy imagined a miserable and marginalized humanity, a turbulent and often limbo of the law, the presence of ghosts and esoteric atmospheres that gave rise to numerous legends, The best known is that of Golem, the clay puppet intended to defend Jews from persecution. At number 40 of Karlovo Namesti there is the house where Faust lived, conducting his studies of alchemy. The house would have a curse as a student who lived there disappeared and there was a hole in the roof: just as Faust had been kidnapped by the devil. The Vodnik are the water spells that live in the Moldava, each with its own area and its bridge. Their main activity is to drag the souls of those who fall into the river, where they store them in old pots.

The Charles Bridge statues would be stone protectors and take care of newborn babies from Kampa Island, accompanying them for the rest of their lives in return for the care they received for their preservation. The sword of St. Wenceslas was infused within the walls of the bridge to protect the city, so if there had been an invasion, the Saint would brandish it by decapitating all the enemies. But children have been abducted and since then it is unrecognizable, so it is said that children are in the hands of the country's future. St. John Nephew lived in the '300 at the court of Wenceslas IV: he was killed by the sovereign for refusing to reveal the secrets of his wife's confession. It is buried in the Cathedral of San Vito and its statue stands on Charles Bridge, which was thrown into the river. At that exact point on the bridge parapet there is a golden cross, touching which desires come true.

He narrates a legend that a wealthy man named Myslík, forced to flee from Prague, gathered all his silverware and fused it into fish, hiding it inside a wall of his home. Many years later, in that house, another man lived to which he was ordered to break down the old building and build a new one. The news threw the man in deep despair as he did not have enough money to build a new home. Just as he was about to abandon his old dwelling, from a broken wall, the silver fish fell to allow him to restore the old dwelling, transforming Myslik's evil fortune into his fortune.

Hromnice's day, Czech party

Hromnice's day (pronounced HROM-nyi-tseh) is an important day for Czech folklore linked to weather. It always falls on February 2, the same day that the famous Day Groundhog is celebrated in the United States. Both events are based on the same ancient Celtic tradition. The Czech word Hromnice comes from the "hromnice" sanctified candles lit the night of February 2 if there was a thunderstorm (thunder = hrom).
According to tradition, groundhog comes out of his hole after his winter sleep on February 2nd and if he sees his shadow (ie if the sun is sunny), he will return to his hole and be ready for another six weeks in winter. If the day is cloudy, it will remain above the ground, waiting for the spring. There are dozens of other Czech Hromnice stories that provide the same thing, many of us remind us that although we are thinking about spring, winter is not over and can not even reach its peak.

Below are some examples of Czech Hromnice with the predictions of the length of winter:
- If the sun shines on Hromnice, there will be another six weeks in winter.
- If Hromnice's day is bright and clear, winter is sure to continue for a long time. If there is snow, rain or thunder, spring is near.
- If the snow melts on Hromnice's day, add more wood to the fire; If the snow is frozen, winter is finally over.
- If it rains on the day of Hromnice, let's wait for the snow in the spring.
- If snowing on Hromnice's day, wait for the rain in the spring.

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