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16. HOLIDAYS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

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16. Holidays and traditions in the Czech Republic Name holidays and celebrations in your country (don’t forget State holidays) Describe 2 or 3 in more detail Speak about your favourite ones Do you think it is important to keep traditions I would like to tell you some information about Czech holidays and traditions. Unfortunately, I believe that for most of Czech habitants, state days mean just another day off and about others holidays some of Czech population even doesn’t know. I hope that it will be great if we would be more patriots, for example if we raise Czech flag in some important day. Interesting fact is that. Anyway, there are 12 public holidays in the Czech Republic: January 1, besides beingNew Year’s Day, is also the date the independent Czech Republic was founded in 1993, after the break-up of Czechoslovakia. Christians attend mass to give thanks for previous year. Mostly boys really appreciateEaster,which is celebrated in either March or April, and is full of traditions. Popular folk customs include hand-painting eggs and lashing girls with pussy-willow sticks. Easter is the important Christian holiday, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are two holidays in May. May 1 isLabour Day (May Day), which is also, celebrated in many other countries. It commemorates an 1886 strike by workers in Chicago who demanded an eight-hour workday. In Czechoslovakia before the Velvet Revolution this day was “joyfully” celebrated by all the workers. It was obligatory to take part in the parade under the socialist regime. May 8 isLiberation Day and recalls the end of World War II. Usually the Czech president, political representatives and second wars veterans commemorate the end of the war by placing flowers wreaths at memorials of the victims of Second World War. Let’s move to July. In July there are two public holidays. On July 5, we rememberSaints Cyril and Methodius, who brought Christianity to Great Moravia in the 9th century. July 6 isJan Hus Day. This is the day the church reformer Jan Hus was burned at the stake in 1415. Another important day isSt. Wenceslas Day,which is celebrated on September 28 (the day when St. Wenceslas was murdered) and is also called Czech Statehood Day. One month later, on October 28, isIndependent Czechoslovak State Day. We remember the day Czechoslovakia was created in 1918. November 17 is theStruggle for Freedom and Democracy Day. This commemorates the student protests against the Nazis in 1938 and the demonstration in 1989 that started the Velvet Revolution. Let me not forget to December. In this magic month, the holidays are all aboutChristmas. We celebrate Christmas with our families and friends on December 24, with a nice dinner (usually carp and potato salad) and open gifts. December 25 and 26 are two other Christmas holidays. There are also some holidays I observe that aren’t public holidays. We celebrateSt. Nicholas on December 5 in the evening before his feast day. Children get sweets from a person dressed like St. Nicholas, who is often accompanied by a devil and an angel. On May 5 we remember the date of the Czech uprising against the Germans in 1945. My family and me, we celebrate only Easter, Christmas and from American’s modern traditions Valentine’s Day, which we have changed a bit. I think that it was my father, who invited, that on this day we would buy a present for everyone, who we like, including family relationships. It’s isn’t the same think as in Christmas, because we buy presents just for to show how we like each other not for making him happy with big present’s. My brother, who is 7 year’s old, still believes in small Jesus, who through the legend give us presents. This makes our Christmas more magic and peaceful.

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