Carnival in Prague

Several hundred musicians, most of them with trombones, trumpets or drums, gather on Prague's Old Town Square, and the result is musical anarchy. The Czech Republic doesn't have a tradition of carnivals to mark the beginning of lent, but over the weekend, carnival musicians, dressed in the most weird and wonderful costumes came together in Prague, most of them from Switzerland, Germany and France, to bring a bit of carnival spirit to the Czech capital. David Vaughan was there and spoke with some of the participants.

There was something singularly un-Czech about the whole event. It was extremely noisy, garish, spontaneous and completely anarchic, but you only had to see the expressions of the hundreds of inquisitive Prague citizens who filled the square on a wet Saturday afternoon, to see that it was a success. There were even Czech groups among the musicians, and to cater for Czech tastes, the programme included such Czech classics as the Beer Barrel Polka and a few bars from Smetana's "My Country". This could well become a regular fixture on the Prague calendar.