Summer Love at the Czech Center

What a wonderful night!  With Prague Hall done up in an elegant soft yellow matching the bridesmaids’ dresses exactly, you would have been hard-pressed to find a more beautiful place to spend last Saturday night, July 18.  Food from Carino’s Italian Restaurant, music by D.J. Xtreme and the joyful, laid-back company of friends and family really completed the night.

Making the evening even more magical, was an impressive storm followed by a full rainbow visible to the entire party through the Czech Center’s ceiling high windows.  Who could ask for a better blessing on their special day!

Carlos and Rosa's first dance under the sparkling chandelier
The first dance under the sparkling chandelier
Their guests were quick to follow and they dance floor stayed full for the rest of the evening!
Their guests were quick to follow and they dance floor stayed full for the rest of the evening!
Carlos showing off his dance skills
Showing off his dance skills

A Gala of All Galas!

You may have attended Galas before but not like the August 1, 2009 – Fifteenth Anniversary Benefit Gala to fund the Czech Center Museum

Hurricane Ike approaching Galveston, Texas
Hurricane Ike approaching Galveston, Texas

Houston’s greatly needed opening of the third floor and additionally to help the Galveston Arts Center rebuild post Hurricane Ike for reopening in January 2010 !!

There are at least fifteen live auction getaway packages near home, a country estate, three hotel weekends; a Maine waterfront; two Ruidoso, New Mexico venues; a rustic condo; a mountain family home for five couples; a Utah working Ranch; a Moravian Wine Cellar Villa in the Czech Republic; a Washington D.C. Czech Embassy visit; a Christmas cookie traditions Baking Class with a Czech chef; golf packages; sports packages and a European destination trip.  That’s

Scenic Ruidoso, New Mexico
Scenic Ruidoso, New Mexico

besides the Houston arts scene tickets, dinners to fine restaurants, Moravian wine collections, brim full baskets too numerous to note here and so many beautiful items to own or gift.  There’s a wonderful four course dinner following butler passed hors d’oeuvres and wine, music, song, dance and camaraderie.

Valet Parking is complimentary.

Please come enjoy this spectacular evening in a Baroque palace while you help one of Houston’s eighteen fine museums in the

How often do you get to mingle in such a magical atmosphere?
How often do you get to mingle in such a magical atmosphere?

Museum District.  Festivities begin in Brno Gallery among the beautiful art glass windows of St. Wenceslas and the Presidents Room with beveled glass windows and doors throughtout, then continue in Prague Hall.

A sneak peak at some auction items from trips to crystal and everything in between!

Ms. _______ was kind enough to donate two of these beautiful Swarvoski crystal water lily candle holders.  In mint condition, you'll be hard pressed to find a more beautiful candleholder!
Beautiful Swarvoski crystal water lily candle holders.
An opportunity to peer into the heads of our forefathers.  This magnificent and quirk set features seven individual faces on graduating vessels.
An opportunity to peer into the heads of our forefathers. This magnificent and quirky set features seven individual faces on graduating vessels.
Gorgeous handmade bag from Austin, Texas.

Gorgeous handmade bag from Austin, Texas.

Original Tile Painting with vibrant colors sure to match any decor.
Original Tile Painting with vibrant colors sure to match any decor.

Call 713-528-2060 or email valerie@czechcenter.org to purchase your tickets today!

Limited Seating

The Czech Center Museum Houston depends upon the participation of fun loving, culture conscious people to continue its mission of promoting a global community.

Thanks for your support and we look forward to celebrating with you.

Czech Wedding Traditions

CZECH WEDDING TRADITIONS

There are many uniquely Czech wedding traditions, a complete list of which can be found here.  Below are a few of our favorites:

Groom’s test – There was a chopping block and axe and bottle of wineprepared for the groom at the threshold of the bride’s house. If he took the axe it was a good sign – he would be a good houseman. If he decided for a bottle of wine, he would be a drunkard.

Bride’s test – As she entered the groom’s house for the first time there was a broom ready in the room and she had to sweep the room briskly and put it back to its place. She showed that she wanted to be a good housewife.

Union – At the Czech wedding reception, a plate is broken at the feet of the bride and groom and they must clean the pieces up together to promote the ability to work together in a healthy manner throughout their marriage.

Wedding guard of honor – Friends form an aisle for the newly weds to walk through. They try to make it difficult. Symbolic meaning: overcoming difficulties in marriage.

Pulling – After a wedding ceremony the groom’s friends pull a rope outside a church. The rope is decorated with flowers, ribbons and also with empty bottles and they allow them to continue their journey if they are paid off by the groom. The groom has to pay off the sins of his youth.

Circular dance – The bride dances with closed eyes and single girls try to get a bit of her veil (it is better to use a cheap veil for this occasion). Men form a protective circle around the bride to prevent the girls to get to her. If the circle is broken through, it symbolizes the farewell to innocence and virginity.

Kidnapping of the bride – This symbolizes the bride’s separation from her parents and the beginning of a new partnership. Later, when the reception is almost over friends kidnap the bride. If the groom does not find her he has to pay a ransom. Note: Time limit should be set so wedding guests do not wait hours for the bride’s return.

Inviting kolache – Traditionally these small buns are baked few weeks

Many Texans think of Kolaces when they think of Czech culture...dont forget theres so much more!
Many Texans think of Kolaces when they think of Czech culture...don't forget there's so much more!

before the wedding. They are given to relatives, friends and neighbors as an invitation to the wedding reception. Kolache should have at least three fillings and are considered to show the culinary art of the housewife.

Trust – At the wedding reception, the bride and groom are joined by being covered in a large towel symbolizing unity, and then finish a bowl of soup using one spoon to symbolize the melting of two souls into one and the trust that each will carry for reliance on the other in time of need.

Kolibka – Is among the many special dances performed at the wedding celebration. In this dance, the chief bridesmaid holds a plate in her arms as if it were a baby. Guests throw coins onto the plate to start a nest egg for the couple’s future offspring.

Rudolf II prevails over Brno Gallery

Rudolf IIThe Czech Center Museum Houston had the wonderful fortune this week of acquiring an etching of Rudolf II by Czech artist Oldrich Kulhanek.  Bill and Effie Rosene, founders, CEO, Chairman, volunteers extraordinaire of the Czech Center along with our irreplaceable Board Member Father Paul found this incredibly intricately detailed piece at an exhibition of Czech and Slovak artists at the University of Houston Clear Lake earlier in June, thanks to an invitation from artist and professor Sandria Hu.

You really ought to come see this good looking gentleman!

Rudolf II detailRudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, was crowned the Czech king in 1576 and moving his court back to Prague, promoted the city as the imperial seat of power again.  During his reign, encompassed by an era often referred to as Prague’s Second Golden Age, Prague received it’s nickname “Magic Prague.”  Rudolf’s court attracted scientists, intellectuals and artists from all over Europe, including astronomers Tycho de Brahe and Johannes Kepler.  (information received from the official website of the Czech Republic)

If you are unfamiliar with the etching process, below are a few helpful links that go through the process.  The Czech Center is thrilled to be a patron of a  more than 500 year old history of printmaking, first popularized in the fifteenth century Northern Renaissance.

http://happyfaceschicago.blogspot.com/2009/03/printmaking-process-pasta-machine.html

http://www.wretchedetcher.com/etching-tutorial/etching-tutorial.html

Four Operas in July

This scene from Bedrich Smetanas The Bartered Bride is also featured on CCMHs August 1, 2009 Gala invitation.
This scene from Bedrich Smetana's "The Bartered Bride" is also featured on CCMH's August 1, 2009 Gala invitation.

July 9-12, Kingwood College Opera Workshop will present Forbidden Love: Barber of Seville (Rossini), Der Rosenkavalier (Strauss), Signor Deluso (Pasoteiri) and The Bartered Bride (Czech Comic Opera by Bedrich Smetana, 1866)

What an opportunity and in English!  This delightful compilation includes famous arias from the first three and The Bartered Bride in its entirety.  For more information contact 281-312-1532 or kingwood@lonestar.edu.

Additional great news is this program will be performed at the Czech Center Museum Houston Prague Hall September 17 and 18 with reception following to join with singers, actors, musicians and production team celebrating this first performance of Smetana’s famous Czech comedic opera The Bartered Bride in Houston.

In March 2010 we will be blessed again for The Bartered Bride performance in Czech at CCMH by University of North Texas Denton Music Department with some narration in English.

Celebrate a Good Cause and Win the Trip of a Lifetime!

Brno Gallery features Czech crystal chandeliers and a black and gold Grand Staircase.
Brno Gallery features Czech crystal chandeliers and a black and gold Grand Staircase.

Czech Center Museum Houston is gearing up to celebrate its Fifteenth Anniversary in the elegance of a Baroque Palace in the Museum District Saturday, August 1, 2009.  For the Fifth year we will celebrate in historical Brno Gallery with a Wine and passed Hors d’oeuvres reception as well as an exciting Silent Auction.

The evening features an elaborate dinner and champagne toast to Benefactors with music, dancing and a lively Live Auction in the lovely Prague Hall.

Prague Hall
Kamil Kubrik and Alfons Mucha in Prague Hall

The Grand Finale is a Drawing for an exciting trip for two to Prague, Vienna or your choice of a beautiful destination in Europe.

This is your chance to win a trip to Golden Prague or other destination in Europe where you will witness untold architectural splendors.

The inimitable city of Prague.
The inimitable city of Prague.

At the same time you will help the Czech Center Museum Houston reach its goal of finishing out its third floor and completing construction of a beautiful, invaluable cultural building in the heart of the Museum District of Houston.

The Charles Bridge-652 years old this year!
The Charles Bridge-652 years old this year!

You will stroll across historic Charles Bridge, visit fabulous Prague Castle the seat of Kings and Presidents, explore medieval squares, making for a delightful destination that you will want to visit again and again.

Prague Castle has historically been the seat of Czech leadership, it holds the Crown Jewels and the Guinness Book of World Records cites it as the largest ancient castle in the world.
Prague Castle has historically been the seat of Czech leadership, it holds the Crown Jewels and the Guinness Book of World Records cites it as the largest ancient castle in the world.

Your contribution for this Grand Finale prize, your attendance at the Gala August 1, 2009, and bidding on Live and Silent Auction items will allow this expansion to include a dedicated library, additional administrative offices and exhibit and meeting space, greatly enhancing services for our members, friends and the general public.

This picture doesn't even show half of the space we have available up there.  The potential is enormous.
This picture doesn't even show half of the space we have available up there. The potential is enormous.

or a donation of $100.00 each, please call to 713-528-2060 or email us at czech@czechcenter.org.

Please consider being an Individual or Corporate underwriter for this Charity Benefit Fund Raising Gala.  Suggested Star Underwriter Categories are: Platinum $25,000; Sapphire $20,000; Diamond $15,000; Emerald $10,000; Gold $ 5,000; Silver $3,000; Garnet $2,000.  Tables hold ten guests.

Thanks!

Floods in the Czech Republic

It can certainly rain and flood in the Czech Republic just as in Houston!

Unfortunately a state of emergency has been declared as a flash flood swept through Moravia last night.

Photo from CTK
Photo from CTK

Hundreds of people were evacuated from the towns of Nový Jičín and Jeseník nad Odrou and so far ten have died.  In 1997 this region was hit by a devastating flood that claimed 50 lives.

Let’s keep those families affected by this trama in our prayers in the coming week.

Preserving and celebrating Czech and Slovak heritage with the goal of promoting a global community