Once a day for waving red flags and rallying against capitalism, the post-revolution May Day (May 1) is a kinder, gentler spring holiday that claims a couple of curious customs: a kiss-a-thon atop Petřin Hill near the statue of romantic poet Karel Hýnek Mácha and a massive parade of rowdy students.
The most important thing to know is that it’s a bank holiday that falls on a Friday this year and that, in Prague, first of May revelery will range from the amorous to the alcoholic. Happy Spring!
For Czechs May Day has long been associated with another poet, the American beat poet Allen Ginsberg, whose 1965 visit to Prague got him crowned king of its Majáles ceremony and a week later saw him unceremoniously deported. A week-long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of that event includes talks and readings in English leading up to and following the festive May 1st Studentský Majáles parade.
Once the kissing is out of the way make the short trek from Petřin to Břevnov monastery to sample 80 different varieties of beer from 20 Czech microbreweries. A handful of Czech wineries and grilled yummies add to the merriment as does live entertainment, kids activities, and hockey coverage. From 12pm-10pm.
While the celebration begins with a parade, it ends with a bashy concert headlined by famous Czech and Slovak bands. This year’s large-scale celebration takes place at PVA EXPO Praha Letňany with ATMO, Prago Union, and Skyline scheduled to perform.
The City of Prague Museum has organized a “day with Mácha” in Petřin park that is to include photo opps with a lifesize cut-out of the fabled poet which will be printed on the spot and also posted to the museum’s Facebook page. Also on the program: magician performances and the chance to try jumping boots!
Catch the big parade from Náplavka where starting at 12pm the Litovel brewery will host a lip-locked launch party for its new black lemon beer which includes free tastings, a photobooth, live music and DJs, and unique beer cocktails. Enjoy the odd coupling of black beer and lemon while mulling over fun facts like 37% of Czechs kiss 5-7 times a week.
The third annual wheelchair accessible festival organized by Czech band The Tap Tap, showcases live acts in a unique venue (Vltava, Tam Tam Batucada and The Tap Tap at Folimanka Park), plus the rare opportunity to rappel down the Nuselský bridge in a wheelchair.
Whether you think Vršovice is an overated ruin or god’s gift to hipsters, it cannot be denied that vintage apparel purveyor Boho Concept Store pioneered the neighborhood’s cool quotient. Stop by to shop and celebrate from 6pm on May 1st.
Get ready for lots of pompadours, denim, tatts, and upright bass. Klub 007 hosts a swinging May Day rockabilly festival with headliners Carlos and His Coyotes (CZ), Bobcats (CZ), and The Beautifuls (CZ) along with DJs and a barbecue.
Philharmonic Orchestra Iwasaki will perform two concerts in Petřin Park at 2:30pm and 4pm, featuring selections from hometown heroes Martinů and Dvořák.
An English-language version of the epic Czech romantic poem will be read in its entirety near the statue of its author by students from the English School in Prague at 7pm.
How do you celebrate the Czech Valentine’s Day?