October 28 is Independent Czechoslovak State Day, a date that celebrates the formation of the sovereign state of Czechoslovakia after the first World War, when the country officially gained independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
While Czechoslovakia no longer exists – the Czech Republic and Slovakia peacefully separated in 1993 after 75 years together – October 28 is still an important date and a national holiday in the Czech Republic.
In 2018, the Czech Republic (and Slovakia) celebrated the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the independent Czechoslovak state with large-scale festivities across both countries.
One of the largest events was an extensive military parade and air in Prague show billed as the largest in central and eastern Europe. And after seven years of reconstruction, Prague’s National Museum officially opened to the public on October 28, 2018.
In 2019, numerous museums, galleries, and public buildings will be open to the public for free on the October 28 national holiday; see here for a full list.
Also on October 28, Czech President Miloš Zeman will award medals of merit during a ceremony at Prague Castle. Honorees receiving recognition include former President Václav Klaus, Serbian film director (and graduate of Prague’s FAMU) Emir Kusturica, and Emil Boček, the last surviving Czech fighter pilot who served with the RAF.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also released a statement to citizens of the Czech Republic the best on the October 28 holiday:
“On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I send my warmest wishes to the Czech people on the occasion of your National Day, October 28,” Pompeo says through an official statement on the U.S. Department of State website.
“The United States joins you in celebrating more than a century of independence. We honor those who rose up against a communist regime 30 years ago in the Velvet Revolution and laid the foundation of today’s independent and democratic state. Our friendship reflects our shared commitment to a more prosperous, secure, and peaceful world.
“The United States is a dedicated Ally of the Czech Republic, and we deeply appreciate your diplomatic support and security cooperation worldwide. We look forward to building an even stronger partnership in the years to come.”
Happy birthday, Czech and Slovak Republics (née Czechoslovakia)!
For more state holidays and culturally important days in the Czech Republic, see our Czech Holiday Calendar here.