Masopust (ČTK): This month it seems that all of Prague wants to take part in the festivities of Masopust. (ČTK)This month it seems that all of Prague wants to take part in the festivities of Masopust. (ČTK)

Combating the grey gloom of February is Masopust season, now in full swing, with its colourful masks, vibrant parades and funky costumes. Many of Prague’s venues are getting into the spirit and hosting several events this upcoming week in celebration of the jovial festival.

On Saturday 21 February, Palác Akropolis is throwing a masquerade ball for children. The event promises music, theater and fairytales and is free to the public. Later that night, Palác Akropolis will give the adults a chance to join in the revelry with performances by Beatles and Rolling Stones revival bands. Admission to the concert is free if you come in costume and there will be a raffle and disco.

The next day, you can enjoy a Masopust Feast at U vystřelenýho oka, where the Žižkovanka brass band will serenade you as you savor your meal. Afterwards, take the children to Kino Aero, where they’re hosting a free screenings in celebration of Masopust.

To top of the Masopust celebration, the centerpiece of the festival is the Žižkovský Masopust parade on Tuesday, 24 February. At the parade, costumed revelers snake through the streets of Prague 3. Beginning at the traditional date and time in Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad square at 4pm, the parade winds its way to the TV tower, then turns to the Prague 3 town hall at Havlíčkovo náměstí, moving onwards to Žižkovo náměstí, before returning back to in Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad where the partying reaches its peak.

Tanya Tagaq (COURTESY): Tanya Tagaq's songs rely heavily on the Inuit throat singing technique, lending them an eerie, ethereal, and sensual quality. (COURTESY)Tanya Tagaq’s songs rely heavily on the Inuit throat singing technique, lending them an eerie, ethereal, and sensual quality. (COURTESY)If you’ve had enough of Masopust, there are still plenty of other events going on in Prague. On Wednesday at 8pm, Canadian songstress Tanya Tagaq performs at the Palác Akropolis. Her songs rely heavily on the Inuit throat singing technique, lending them an eerie, ethereal, and sensual quality that’s captivated fellow artists like Bjork. Combined with hip-hop rhythms like beat-boxing, this alt-rocker offers up something wholly unique.

Inuit throat singing may not be your thing and if you’re looking for something a little more mainstream, on Friday, 20 February, at 7:00pm, the Finnish band The Rasmus comes to the Sportovní hala Folimanka basketball arena. The show had to be upgraded from its original venue, the smaller Lucerna Music Bar. The Rasmus, who have enjoined considerable success around Europe released their seventh studio album Black Roses last September, featuring the singles Livin’ in a World Without You and Justify.

Although the February chill has settled on Prague, braving the bitter winter weather can have its benefits. On Wednesday, the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships return to Liberec. Lasting until Sunday, 1 March, the
competition
includes cross country skiing, ski jumping, and combined competitions. Be sure to bring warm clothing.

The French Institute in Prague is hosting a black and white photography exhibition called Prague – Paris, Sur Les Pas de Sudek et Atget. The exhibit displays work from photographer Petr Šrámek who practices “re-photography,” or taking a picture in the same place where another photo was taken years earlier. Inspired by the older photographs of Josef Sudek and Eugène Atget, Šrámek returns to the setting of their pictures and tried to recapture the image. The French Institute is open Monday through Friday 10am to 7pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm.

Frost/Nixon (COURTESY): Originally a Broadway play, Frost/Nixon was adapted for the big screen and is now nominated for five Academy Awards. (COURTESY)Originally a Broadway play, Frost/Nixon was adapted for the big screen and is now nominated for five Academy Awards. (COURTESY)Pass the popcorn

An absolute must see for film buffs is Frost/Nixon (Duel Frost/Nixon), opening on Thursday. Originally a Broadway play, the piece was adapted for the big screen and is now nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director. Director Ron Howard manages to take a piece of American history and recreate it in a riveting way, while actor Frank Langella’s portrayal of former President Richard Nixon is near-flawless and unforgettable.

If the Oscar-worthy performances of Frost/Nixon are not enough to satisfy your Academy Award cravings, then head to the American Center on Wednesday at 6:30pm. To celebrate the upcoming 81st Academy Awards, the center is hosting a free screening of last year’s Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men. Before the movie, film journalist Vojtěch Rynda (from Lidové noviny) will talk about last year’s nominees as well as expectations for this year’s batch of Oscar picks.