Czech holiday calendar 2020: six long weekends in the forecast

Only two of the 13 Czech holidays fall on weekends, meaning people get 11 days off this year
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The Czech Republic doesn’t give the closest Monday off if a state holiday falls on the weekend, so every year is a crap shoot in terms of how many holidays you actually get to celebrate.

2020 works out pretty well, with only two of the 13 official holidays falling on the weekend. Seven fall on Fridays or Mondays, making six long weekends. Mandatory closures for stores larger than 200 square meters apply to some but not all holidays.

Unlike 2018 and 2019, there are no big anniversaries falling in 2020, but it is a leap year with February 29 falling on a Saturday.

November 17 videomapping
New Years Day will be marked by a videomapping on the National Museum. via Raymond Johnston

A 14th state holiday, Remembrance Day of the Victims of the Invasion and Subsequent Occupation by Warsaw Pact Troops, is in limbo as the law has passed both houses of Czech Parliament but not been signed by the president. If it is signed, it will take place August 21, which is a Friday.

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The year kicks off with January 1, which is not only New Years Day but also Restoration Day of the Independent Czech State, falling on a Wednesday.

There is a gap until Easter, which falls in the middle of its possible range on April 12 in the Western calendar. There will be a four-day weekend with Good Friday on April 10 and Easter Monday on April 13. The earliest that Easter can fall is March 22, which won’t happen again until 2285. The latest it can be is April 25, which will happen a bit sooner in 2038.

Braided whips are a tradition for Easter Monday. via Raymond Johnston

Masopust, the Czech version of Mardi Gras, is not an official holiday. It falls on Tuesday, February 25, in 2020. It marks the day before the start of Lent, which for Christians is the season of austerity leading up to Easter.

Both May 1 and May 8 fall on Fridays, creating back to back three day weekends. May 1 is Labor Day and May 8 is Liberation Day.

St. Cyril and St. Methodius Day, on July 5, is the first loss as it falls on a Sunday. But Jan Hus Day on July 6 is a Monday, creating another long weekend.

dancing house
The Dancing House lit in the Czech national colors for November 17. via Raymond Johnston

The holidays pick up again on September 28, another Monday, for Czech Statehood Day. A month later, Czechoslovak Independence Day falls Wednesday, October 28.

November 17, or Freedom and Democracy Day, falls on a Tuesday, so with one sick day people can create a four-day weekend.

Christmas is 66.6% successful, with two of the three days hitting on weekdays. Christmas Eve, which is the big day in the Czech Republic, falls on a Thursday, December 24, and Christmas obviously then on Friday. The Second Day of Christmas, called Boxing Day by some, is a Saturday. The year 2021 starts off with a three-day weekend, as January 1, 2021 is a Friday.

wenceslas square
Fireworks at Wenceslas Square for New Years Eve. via Raymond Johnston

At 13 official holidays, the Czech Republic is around average. India and Colombia have 18, while Thailand, Lebanon, and South Korea have 16. The least is in Mexico with seven, followed by the Netherlands, UK, and Hungary with eight days.

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Holidays in 2020
Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day (Wednesday)*
April 10 – Good Friday (Friday)
April 13 – Easter Monday (Monday)*
May 1 – May Day (Friday)
May 8 – Liberation from Fascism (Friday)*
July 5 – Cyril and Methodius Day (Sunday)
July 6 – Jan Hus Day (Monday)
Sept. 28 – Czech Statehood Day (Monday)*
Oct. 28 – Establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic (Wednesday)*
Nov. 17 – Freedom and Democracy Day (Tuesday)
Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve (Thursday) **
Dec. 25 – First Christmas Day (Friday)*
Dec. 26 – Second Christmas Day (Saturday)*
*stores closed by law
**on December 24 stores close at noon

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