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LOOK: Czech glassblowers keep Christmas tradition alive

PONIKLA, Czech Republic—A small family business in a mountainous village in northern Czech Republic says it’s the last place in the world where traditional Christmas decorations from blown glass beads are made.

In this picture taken on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, traditional glass Christmas decorations are displayed in a shop window in the village of Ponikla, Czech Republic. The small family business in a mountainous village in northern Czech Republic is the last place in the world where traditional Christmas decorations are all made from glass beads blown and painted by hand. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Fewer than two dozen glass workers working from their homes keep alive the tradition, which dates to the mid-19th century in the village of Ponikla.

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In this picture taken on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, a worker adjusts the shop display of traditional blown glass Christmas decorations in the village of Ponikla, Czech Republic. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

The beads are all blown and painted by hand, with help from simple machines. They’re a product of the thriving glass industry in the region, and were originally mostly used to decorate folk costumes in Germany, Austria and elsewhere.

In this picture taken on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, a traditional worker colours small blown glass beads for Christmas decorations in the village of Ponikla, Czech Republic. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

After a Japanese competitor copied the production process in the early 20th century, local bead makers found a new use for them in Christmas decorations.

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In this picture taken on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, Marek Kulhavy blows small glass beads in the village of Ponikla, Czech Republic. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

The delicate bead decorations from the Rautis company are today exported to several European countries and the United States.

In this picture taken on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, a traditional worker makes Christmas decorations from small blown glass beads in the village of Ponikla, Czech Republic. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

The Czech Republic has nominated the tradition for inclusion in the UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. /jpv

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