Prague Castle in the autumn

Half of Czechs now celebrate Halloween, while 80% observe All Souls’ Day

Nearly 50% of Czechs observe some Halloween habits, most often making jack o'lanterns by carving pumpkins

Prague, Oct 31 (CTK) – Some 80 percent of Czechs annually observe the tradition of All Souls’ Day on November 2 some way, mostly by seeing their family graves at cemeteries, according to a poll by the STEM/MARK polling agency that was released today.

However, only one-fifth of Czechs are visiting cemeteries exactly on November 1, shows the poll conducted on a sample of 500 people aged from 15 to 59.

Eighty-three percent of the respondents still consider this holiday important at present, yet a half of the polled consider neither All Souls’ Day nor All Saints’ Day, preceding it on November 1, as significant to become a public holiday, that is a day off.

Inhabitants of Moravia, the eastern part of the Czech Republic, observe the tradition of All Souls’ Day more often than those living in Bohemia. In Moravia, 88 percent commemorate the dead in early November, while in Bohemia, 77 percent and in Prague, 70 percent.

A quarter of the respondents would agree with the introduction of a public holiday on All Souls’ Day, while 10 percent would like November 1, All Saints Day, to become a public holiday.

But only 15 percent of the polled know how to celebrate this Christian festival celebrated in honour of all the saints. It is more known in the country and among university graduates.

Yet until the 1948 when Communists seized power, All Saints’ Day was a state holiday in Czechoslovakia and it still is in a number of European countries, including the neighbouring Slovakia and Poland.

On the contrary, almost all or 99 percent of Czechs know the Anglo-Saxon folk holiday Halloween on October 31. Almost half of Czechs observe some of the Halloween habits, most often by making jack o’lanterns out of carved pumpkins.

Compared to the 2015 poll, the popularity of Halloween has increased in the Czech Republic compared to four years ago, when only 30 percent observed it, while the number of Halloween opponents dropped by 13 percent to 53 percent.

Also read:  Prague’s soured alliance with Beijing emblematic of Czech-Chinese relations, writes The New York Times

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