Public holiday in Czechia - Czech Statehood Day (September 28th)
Learning a foreign language always means learning about the culture it represents as well. It's our aim to introduce not only the Czech language to you, but also Czech culture. So let's start with some notes on today's public holiday.
September 28th is one of the public holidays in Czechia - it's called the Czech Statehood Day (Den české státnosti). It commemorates Saint Wenceslaus (svatý Václav), one of the most important figures in Czech history. A duke of Bohemia in the 10th century, he became the patron saint of the Czech lands after his murder on this day in 935.
You can read more about him on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wenceslaus_I,_Duke_of_Bohemia
Svatý Václav is not commemorated by this day only. Almost every visitor to Czechia will encounter a mention of his name somewhere. He is portrayed on 20 Kč coins. Václav is the 12th most popular given name in Czechia. The most important square in Prague - Václavské náměstí (or colloquially Václavák) - is named after him. A big equestrian statue of Saint Wenceslas is located on this square right in front of the National Museum. The statue is a popular meeting place and is colloquially known as kůň ('the horse'). So you can ask your Czech friends to meet you pod koněm' ('under the horse').
Learners from English speaking countries may be familiar with the Christmas carol 'Good King Wenceslas', which is inspired by him.
But what does this day mean for the average Czech?
To be honest, not much. People have time off from work, schools are closed, most shops are closed too, the flags are flying - even buses and trams are decorated with little flags - and there are some official events, but not many. It's a religious holiday as well - there is a pilgrimage and a mass in Stará Boleslav, the town where he was murdered. But overall, the Czech Statehood Day is a bit overshadowed by October 28th - the most important public holiday - but more on that later.
It also means that we - the contributors - are taking a day off.
Just kidding. We are always working. ;)