Holidays in the Czech Republic. When (not only) in 2023 can we enjoy time off?

Age-old traditions, national customs and free time off work. Are you a Ukrainian living in the Czech Republic? Or do you employ a person who fled the country before the war? Thanks to the following list, you can find your way around the most important Czech holidays.

Restoration Day of the Independent Czech State
January 1st

The first day of the year is a holiday for two reasons. In addition to the fact that the vast majority of countries around the world celebrate the New Year, Czechs also commemorate the Restoration Day of the Independent Czech State. It refers to the division of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic into two independent countries, which officially took place on January 1, 1993. On this national holiday, among other things, some state honours can be awarded.

March or April
In 2023: April 7th to April 10th

Not every significant day has a fixed date. The time of Easter changes from year to year, because the specific days of the week play a more important role. The so-called Good Friday in 2023 falls on April 7th, and we will therefore celebrate Easter Monday in the Czech Republic on April 10th. Both events are treated as non-working days. Folklore and Christian customs at Easter differ in various parts of the country, but you will likely encounter symbols of eggs, bunnies, and Czech Easter whips everywhere. If you don’t accept these traditions, you can at least enjoy a long weekend without work obligations.

Labor Day
May 1st

Late evening, on the first of May — The twilit May — the time of love. The well-known verses of Karel Hynek Mácha are commemorated every year during the first day of the fifth month. May 1st, which many Czechs prefer over the popular Valentine’s Day, is usually spent on Prague’s Petřín, close to a statue of one of the most famous Czech poets. Nevertheless, we experience a day off thanks to Labor Day, which has been celebrated in the republic since 1890. The origin of the holiday refers to the outbreak of a strike by American workers in Chicago.

Victory Day
May 8th

Victory is celebrated all over the world in the context of various historical battles or wars. The first victory many European people think of is the end of the World War 2 on the old continent. In the Czech Republic, the national holiday was moved from May 9th to May 8th in 1991. We remember the memorable moment that changed history on the same day as the French and the British.

Saints Cyril and Methodius Day
July 5th

In 863, Cyril and Methodius came to Great Moravia, the territory of today’s Czech Republic, with the goal of spreading religion. In addition to their successful preaching of the faith, the Slavic evangelists introduced a new script called Glagolitic. Their mission is still remembered today, even though the Czechia is already one of the most atheistic countries in Europe. Instead of a historical event, today July 5th represents a pleasant day off from work, which is followed on the calendar by the Jan Hus Day.

Jan Hus Day
July 6th

Constance, 1415. The place and year that every Czech child learns in primary school. On the 6th of July of this year, a Czech preacher and reformer was burned to death in the city of Constance in southwestern Germany. Master Jan Hus was a religious thinker, Roman Catholic priest, and university teacher. Because of his progressive ideas, the Catholic Church called him a heretic and executed him. The Hussites, and other churches, claimed Hus’ legacy. Now the day of the infamous burning is remembered as a national holiday in Czechia.

Czech Statehood Day
September 28th

Although many people associate September 28th exclusively with the celebration of Czech statehood, its social context goes far back in history. On this day, St. Wenceslas is celebrated as well. The patron saint of Bohemia and Moravia is one of the symbols of the Czech country, and no tourist visiting Prague can miss his legendary statue right under the National Museum. Wenceslas Square became the scene of many groundbreaking events. During the First Republic, September 28 was such a significant day, it became a national holiday in 2000.

Independent Czechoslovak State Day
October 28th

Few dates in the Czech Republic have gained such importance as October 28th. In 1918, the independent Czechoslovak state was officially established. The first Czechoslovak president was Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and the first prime minister was Karel Kramář. Now the national holiday is commemorated in many iconic places across the country, led by the National Memorial at Vítkov in Prague. On this day, the President of the Czech Republic awards the State Award in the Vladislav Hall of Prague Castle.

Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
November 17th

Národní třída, Albertov, Wenceslas Square. These are just three of the places that will forever be associated with the Velvet Revolution. The fall of the communist regime and the return of democracy to Czechoslovakia has been commemorated since 1989 through concerts, exhibitions, speeches, and other cultural events. Initiatives such as Díky, že můžem celebrte freedom among all generations, especially young people. That is why the national holiday is celebrated on November 17th, which is not only the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day, but also the International Student Day.

December 24th to December 26th

Christmas time is characterized by national customs and long queues in gift shops. Above all, it symbolizes the end of the year and a time of peace with your family. Czechs can enjoy the day off from work especially on Christmas Day, which is celebrated on December 24th and includes most of the traditions, including the Christmas Eve dinner and gifts under the tree. December 25th commemorates the Nativity of the Lord and is considered to be the main holiday of Christmas among Christians. You can also enjoy a day off from work on December 26th on St. Stephen’s Day.


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