For the first time in many years, the Prague City Hall will not welcome next year with fireworks or video mapping.
COVID-19 has impacted cities and countries all around the world, and on Friday afternoon, Prague councilors said the city is facing a huge revenue shortfall because of it.
In the past years, Prague traditionally welcomed the new year on January 1 with fireworks, but this year the main event was replaced by a video mapping, as the noise could disturb both pets and wild animals.
“The City Hall is currently trying to use the money effectively to cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic and to support citizens, seniors, entrepreneurs, tourism, services and other businesses,” states the official document.
This year’s video mapping at the National Museum cost almost CZK 2 million. The city can now use that amount of money for other purposes that will help Prague and its inhabitants to deal with the economic effects of the crisis.
However, not all residents of Prague were delighted with the decision to stop the traditional firework display.
On January 1, besides the official projection mapping, the people of Prague could also watch smaller firework shows, which were crowdfunded by the Ohnstroj pro Prahu (Fireworks for Prague) group and organized by Prague 2.
Prague is projecting a deficit of CZK 12 to 15 billion by year’s end due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
New Year’s Day is a national holiday in the Czech Republic and much more than just a celebration of the New Year. In fact, on the 1st of January 1993, the Czech Republic became an independent country after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.