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Holidays in the Czech Republic. Festivals and customs of the Czech Republic


In the Czech Republic surprisingly few large-scale national festivals. Besides the usual religious ceremonies, most of the annual happy holidays — it’s artistic, musical and sporting events that are not beyond the boundaries of the city. In addition, there are also folk activities in different regions of the country, the most famous of which — Straznice festival (.) in Moravia.

Official holidays of the Czech Republic

1 January — the New year (Novyrok)

March-April — the Second day of Easter (Easter Monday,Velikonocni pondeli)

1 may — may day (Svatek prace)

8 may — the Day of victory in Europe (Den osvobozeni)

5 July — Adoption of Christianity (Den slovanskych verozvestu Cyrila a Metodeje)

6 July — the Day of death of Jan HUS (Den upaleni mistra Jana Husa)

September 28 — Day of the Czech Republic (Den boje za svobodu)

October 28 — the Foundation of the Republic (Den vzniku samostatneho ceskoslovenskeho statu)

November 17 — the Day of struggle for freedom and democracy (Den boje za svobodu a demokracii) December 24 — Christmas Eve (Sterdy den)

December 25 — Christmas (Vanoce)

December 26 — St. Stephen’s Day (Den sv Stephana)

National holidays (Statni Svatek) when the Communists were always a potential source of friction, and even today they cause a lot of controversy. May day — once mandatory nationwide boring demonstration under the slogans of — remains a public holiday, although now on the streets, only skinheads, anarchists and diehard Stalinists. Other “Glorious days of may” (Slavne majove dny), as they are commonly called, may 5, the day of the start of the Prague uprising of 1945, the forgotten, and the Day of victory in Europe is celebrated today, along with Western allies on may 8, not 9, as it was under communism and how it is done in Russia. On September 28, the feast of the patron Saint of the country of St. Wenceslas, now is the Day of the Czech Republic. Oddly enough, still celebrated on October 28, when in 1918 he founded the First Republic, despite the fact that it was the Day Czechoslovakia.

Festivals and annual events

Easter (Velikonoce) age-old sexist tradition requires whipping back and calves girls braided birch rods, tied ribbons (pomlazky), — you will see how these items are rapidly selling out in the markets at the time of preparation for Easter. To avoid that fate, girls have to offer the young men painted Easter eggs and pour on them a bucket of cold water. What once could be innocent spring of rural entertainment, has now become another reason for Czech men to molest any woman who dares to go outside.

In some regions of the country continue to be two of the ancient custom of announcing the end of winter. “Slaughtering the pigs”, known as “zabijacka”, is in a rural location at the end of January — usually by this time was exhausted all the winter supplies. Every piece of the animal becomes food for the feast that accompanies this event. Halloween in the Czech Republic comes early, on 30 April, when “Burning the witches” (paleni carodejnic). It’s an ancient pagan ritual, during which time all over the country ; people kindle huge bonfires and throw away and burn old broom to ward off evil spirits.

As in the rest of the Christian world, Christmas (Vanoce) — a time of excessive spending and family gatherings and therefore is more of a private celebration. In early December, in the main squares of big cities in the Czech Republic appear Christmas markets selling gifts, food and hot wine with spices (Svarak). On 4 December, on the feast of St. Barbara, to buy jewelry cherry branches, so they have bloomed for Christmas. On the evening of December 5 many of the trio, dressed as St. Nicholas (Svany Mikulas), an angel and a devil, go home neighbors: angel treats sweets and fruits children who are well behaved, and the devil deals the coal and potatoes to those who misbehaved. The Czech St. Nicholas — gray hair and beard, he is dressed not in red and white attire of a priest and a Bishop’s mitre.

After about a week on the streets set large barrels where huge amounts of sell live carp (carp), traditional Czech food. Traditionally, Christmas eve (Stedry den) — a day of fasting, which ends only with the advent of evening star, signaling the start of the Christmas feast with carp, potato salad, schnitzel and sweet bread. Only after the meal the children are allowed to open the gifts that miraculously appear under the tree thanks to the care Jezisek (baby Jesus), and not Santa Claus.

Birthday in the Czech Republic — much less important holiday than in Russia. Even his Czech counterpart — the Day of the angel, which every year falls on the same day, — a disappearing tradition. The days of the angels for such popular names as Jan or Anna, once actually turned into national holidays, because everyone knows at least one person with that name.