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Andersenian statistic of the NIGHT of magic, fairy tales, international collaboration, record-breaking…

We, the below mentioned librarians, give the full account of all that happened A.D. 2003, internet month of March, on Friday 28, in 151 places chosen by Andersen himself …


A warm welcome to all newcomers - we are especially happy about the Polish libraries Bedzin, Czechowice-Dzieczice, Dabrowa Górnica, Racibórz, Rydultowy. Their speaker Aneta Satlawa from Katowice wrote that 100 children slept in libraries this year, while 100 libraries are expected to participate next year …


The participation of Slovak libraries brings us equal joy - Knižnica Juraja Fándlyho from Trnava, Hornonitrianská knižnica Prievidza, Oravská knižnica Dolný Kubín, Okresná knižnica Dávida Gutgesela Bardejov, Knižnica pre mládež Košice, Knižnica P.O.Hviezdoslava Prešov, and Knižnica Karola Kmetka Nitra. Andersenian fairytale greetings were sent from Slovakia to Hungary, came from unknown friends and from the director of A. Bernolák library in Nové Zámky.


The total of 3493 children and 842 adults (4336 night sleepers) spent the night in 151 towns, places, libraries, schools, kindergartens, creches and other child-care institutions in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Slovakia and Poland.

This sum of people does not include the VIP - mayors, vice-mayors, people from ministries, journalists, TV crews, policemen with their dogs (uncountable), police spokesmen, nurses, several Andersens (at least 15), spirits of Czech and international writers (Agatha Christie, Ľudmila Podjavorinská), Charles IV., Lichtenstein, Frebonie z Pernštejna, Wallenstein, Božena Němcová, Eduard Štorch, Faust, Mephisto, Karolína Světlá, and headless knights (countless). Slovak libraries were visited by Inkunábul ghost, prophet lady, miraculous maiden, monks, brother Geronimo, Hajaja, several Harry Potters, dogs dressed up as bats, both foreign and domestic ghosts, White ladies (many), princesses, Red Hoods, wolves, hunters, Křemílek and Vochomůrka, Ferda Mravenec, Snow-white and dwarfs, detective Holmes, lord Jupiter, Little Mermaid, uncle Pompo, cheeky mouse, devil Trepifajksl, witches, magicians, flame spitters, jugglers, cartoon characters, 3 dolls, pets etc…

Contemporary writers came to read the fairy tales - Tomáš Janovic, Peter Karpinský, Monika Jankovčinová (all in Košice), Daniel Hevier (Trnava), Pavel Bezděčka (Uherské Hradiště), Zdeňka Čechová (Jarošov), Jane Eichlerová (Liberec) …

The magic night was launched by a fanfare from the gallery of Turnov castle, followed by reading of fairy tales read to children by librarians, teachers, mayors, actors, writers, witches, white ladies, Andersens… Children in several libraries had a night full of literary and detective quizzes with detective Kalous from Czech cartoon Mateřídouška. There were parades in nigh gowns (Turnov), miss and mister pajamas were elected in Staré Město. North pole was reached in Šumperk, children from Prague - Dittrich street were allowed to Emauz cloister, guarded by a monk telling local stories, Snow-white was liberated in Žďár, a giant gingerbread cabin and a dragon's lair were built in Mohelnice, a historic fencing company showed their craft in Uherský Ostroh.

Several parades took place with lampoons, lamps, flashlights, there were carnivals, courage tests, we climbed towers, castle walls, visited castles, museums, galleries, and observatories in the night, disabled children staged The Little Mermaid musical, there were several theater shows - e.g. Faust and Margaret in Františkovy Lázně, pantomime O kohoutkovi a neposlušné slepičce in Liberec. There were competitions (Magic Trunk, Millionaire, Fairy tale box) and puppet shows, knights were dubbed with real swords under torch lights, country and disco dances were danced, real horses stood on the castle courtyard, confused fairy tales were played, there were puzzle game tournaments, songs were sung, scary stories were told, and Polish kids wrote an internet message about what they were doing. In Červený Kostelec, everybody became a journalist, visited Denmark and sent postcards.

There were birthday celebrations (in Slovakia and in Český Dub…) with books as presents and huge cakes. Fairy tale cakes were hidden in treasures that had to be found - a huge cake with Harry Potter was given to kids in Moravský Krumlov. Food was varied - cakes (sponsor gifts), patsies (12 patsies in one library), sundaes, ice cream, sweet gingerbread, donuts, nuts, ceremonial dinners, bread and pate, spreads, the treasure of knight Hron was eaten in Náchod, kids drunk ghost-repellent tea, juice, cocoa, mineral, water, magic brews …

Self-portraits were painted, children made fairy tale characters, puppets, Easter eggs, ceramics, painted pictures on foils, glass, illustrations to fairy tales, comic books, and parchment was made in Dvůr Králové …

Matters of interest:


The youngest sleeper - 3 year old boy from Lomnice nad Lužnicí, 3 year old girl from Sedlčany, 3.5 year old Jan from Dolní Rožínce (who stayed until the morning), 3.5 year old Meliska in Prešov, 4 year old girl in Jarošov. The oldest participant was the 80 year old Mr. Nezbeda in Sedlčany.


Most children -152 - came to the Fairy tale day of Pavel Dobšinský in Nitra, 67 children spent the night in Košice, 80 kids slept in ZŠ Úvaly u Prahy, 58 in Prešov, 48 in Turnov, 45 in the Polish town of Dabrowa Górnica.


Live animals participating in the Night included several police dogs, regular dogs, a dog dressed up as a bat, and ants from the backpack of one of the participants. A blackout occurred in one of the venues (candlelight evening), alarm was triggered in another place (resulting in a real police action). In some places, the police took care of the children the entire night.

Electronic conference entitled Andersen was established 3 years ago for the organizers, receiving over 700 messages this year Night only (some, however, of no information value, but some informing of what was happening in the "bedrooms"). Participants in the conference could join competitions prepared by Mateřídouška magazine and Mladá fronta publishing house. Other competitions were prepared by Sdružení přátel Jaroslava Foglara and Bobří stopou scouts magazine, Rodina a škola magazine provided brain teasers for smart kids; Sukova studijní knihovna sought the last year's favorite book and awarded the "Night sleepers award" for the second time. A chat room was established for the children by Atlas Internet Company - the media partner of "March - the month of internet" association.


E-mail greetings were sent by Mrs. Řepová from Mladá Fronta publishing house, writers Ilona Borská and Ivo Štuka, Mateřídouška magazine chief editor P. Brzáková, Zlata Houšková from National Library. Mr. Marek Eben (a famous Czech actor and MC) sent a greeting to all night sleepers as well.


All messages, photographs and other feedback we received show that this year's Andersen night was successful again, having been appreciated by children and their parents alike. All this year's sleepers promised they would participate and celebrate the next International day of books for children and the end of "March - the month of internet" in the same way.

From children books department of Bedřich Beneš Buchlovan library in Uherské Hradiště, the testimony was brought and the correctness of the information is corroborated by

Hana Hanáčková and Mirka Čápová