In my blogs for previous years I told you about the New Year celebrations in Cesky Krumlov, this year we saw the new year in in our little village. The Krumlov New Year is a big event with the sky above the town erupting with fireworks, drunken celebrations in the Town Square and a concert. Our expectations of this year were omuch lower, a simple quiet affair. Not a bit of it.
Our village sits at the end of a valley circling the middle tier of a natural amphitheatre. Our Czech home is near the end of the semicircle of village buildings and sited above most. Thus from the windows of our main rooms we get a view across most of the village to another farm perched on the slopes opposite, plus a view down the valley to the hills above Horice na Sumave. The house faces south east, which means we get some spectacular sunrises and then full morning sun, in the evening the view is no less lovely with the opposite farm glowing in the pink light of sunset. I remember clearly my first morning in the house, when the snow may have been four foot deep in the yard but the low winter sun fairly blasted into the room in the morning.
At midnight the villagers set off fireworks and whilst not as abundant as the Cesky Krumlov ones, they were many and loud. For over half an hour rockets ascended into a night sky unpolluted by Krumlov's many lights. The villagers seemed to be taking it in turns to light the touchpaper. Standing at the window of our darkened room I watched the glow as a householder in the centre of the village lit rocket after rocket. It must have cost him a fortune to put on such a show. At about 12.30 I saw an unfamilar light appear, first one and then two glowing spheres. They were small paper hot air balloons, which set free drifted up into the freezing night air. I watched their ascent to many feet about the village until the flames were extinguished and unseen they fell. Of all the displays these balloons were the most magical.