Public holidays in the Czech Republic are defined by Czech law. These days, most organizations and institutions don’t work (companies, administrations, embassies, big retailers,…).
1.1. Restoration Day of the Independent Czech state / New Year’s Day – in 2003, former Czechoslovakia split into two separate countries the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Of course, we also celebrate the beginning of the new year. Many people don’t do anything, they just relax from the Silvester celebrations last night.
19.4. Good Friday – it’s a Christian holiday, most people don’t care about the religious origin and just enjoy a free day.
22.4.-25.4. Easter Monday – a floating holiday, the closest Monday after the full moon. The most important holiday for Christian people, but the Czech Republic likes this day for a completely different reason. Boys make (or buy) whips from willow branches and decorate them with ribbons. They visit girls in the neighborhood, gently hit them with whips, sing Easter song and ask for painted eggs. Foreigners think Czechs are crazy and criticize violent behavior. That’s not true, the tradition comes from Celtic times and should bring health and prosperity to all girls – they like the tradition too!
1.5. May Day / Labour Day – most countries celebrate the labor movement achievements, not in the Czech Republic. The holiday was compromised by ridiculous manifestations and parades during the communist era and is celebrated only by communists now. For us, ordinary Czechs is the May 1st a Day of Love – we kiss our wives below the blooming tree (thank you, Celts) and enjoy the free day without labor. What a paradox!
8.5. Liberation Day – the celebration of the end of WW II. in 1945, liberation from Fascism. This holiday is quite vibrant, there are many army events, war reconstructions, workshops. We recommend visiting the city Pilsen with its Liberation festival.
5.6. Saints Cyril and Methodius Day – both brothers came to our country to bring Christianity and education to the wild nations in Central Europe.
6.6. Jan Hus Day – in 1415, the catholic priest and reformer Jan Hus was burned at the stake in Konstanz. He becomes a symbol of the resistance against the former catholic church practices.
28.9. Czech Statehood Day – Czech people celebrate the death of the Saint Wenceslas, a patron of Bohemia.
28.10. Czech Independence Day – the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918. Czechoslovakia doesn’t exist anymore and was divided in 1993 into two separate countries – Czech Republic and Slovakia. People from both countries still celebrate this date.
17.11. Freedom and Democracy Day / Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day – there were two important years in the Czech history when students protested against the political situation and were punished – against Nazi German occupation in 1939 and against Communists in 1989. The latter started the Velvet revolution.
24.12. Christmas Eve – people return home to their families on Christmas Eve and celebrate. The traditional evening meal is fried carp and potato salad. People put all gifts below the Christmas tree after the Christmas dinner. The gifts don’t bring Santa Claus but “Jezisek” – Little Jesus.
25.12. Christmas Day
26.12. 2nd Chrismas Day / St. Stephen’s Day