Fireworks for a Saint

St John of Nepomuk (Jan Nepomucký) celebrations, Prague Charles Bridge May 15

The feast of St John of Nepomuk (Jan Nepomucký) is celebrated with a big event called Navalis on and around the Charles Bridge every May 15. After a procession from Prague Castle with banners and icons, there is a boat race, sky diving and music. The event ends with fireworks. A special exception in the ban on fireworks was made for the event.

The fireworks were launched from a barge in the river. Shockwaves from some of the explosions could be felt on shore. The show started slowly, leading some people to express momentary disappointment. But by the time of the massive final volleys the naysayers had been convinced that it was worth the wait.

The show was more impressive than the recent New Year's Day fireworks, which were supposed to have been visible across the city but were stymied by heavy fog.

St John of Nepomuk is thought to have died 1393 as a martyr who refused to reveal the secrets of the queen's confession. His body was thrown into the Vltava river from Charles Bridge, and the legend is that five stars appeared in the water. His tomb is in St Vitus' Cathedral.

See also: Daredevil skydives under Charles Bridge Prague (15.05.2017)

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