The band Docuku, based in the north-eastern town of Valašské Meziřící, rediscovers folk music of Moravia, Slovakia, Hungary as as well as Roma songs, and sometimes come up with their own creations, too. Docuku – meaning together in the local dialect – have put out three albums so far, including Kdybych já věděl which was released earlier this year and features singer Markéta Irglová.
Many Czechs, especially in Moravia, practice traditional customs on Easter Monday, a public holiday in the Czech Republic. One of the most popular customs includes the whipping of girls and women with special whips made of willow branches; this, some believe, bestows beauty and health on them for the next year. In return, the men receive coloured eggs.
Wherever you are in the Northern Hemisphere, it is likely that sometime around now you are marking one of the dozens of religious or cultural holidays that celebrates the beginning of spring. In this year’s Easter Monday special, we look at the ancient origins some of the peculiar traditions and trappings of the Czech spring celebration.
Prague welcomed Easter early this year, maybe even earlier than usual. The cold weather and the return of snow almost made me forget a few weeks ago that spring and the Easter holiday are around the corner. But the rows of identical house-like stalls that one morning landed on one of my favorite squares in Prague – Náměstí Míru – served as a somewhat cynical reminder.
Traditional carnival celebrations preceding the beginning of lent are taking place all over the Czech capital, with many neighborhoods organizing their own celebrations. Prague’s Žižkov district holds the claim to the longest running post-communist tradition of Masopust festivities, as they are called in Czech. This year, Žižkov celebrates the twentieth Masopust in the neighborhood.
Well-known Czech folklorist Radomil Rejšek, the author of a number of key texts on traditional song and dance and teacher of folkloric traditions who influenced generations of young students, died on Thursday morning at the age of 83. Mr Rejšek was a co-founder and long-time member of the Joseph Vycpálek Ensemble of Song and Dance (Souboru písní a tanců Josefa Vycpálka). For his efforts on the international scene, Mr Rejšek received the highest recognition from the International Organisation of Folk Art – honorary membership. The news of Mr Rejšek’s death was released by Kazimír Jánoška, the editor-in-chief of Folklor magazine.
Christmas is the season to be merry, and in many cultures it is also a season of giving. In the Czech Republic this is only a growing trend, and given the uncertain economic climate, charity is not necessary the first thing on people’s minds. Radio Prague spoke to Michael Stannett, the head of the Czech branch of the Salvation Army, or Armada Spasy, in Czech, and asked him if the current economic downturn has had a negative effect on how much people were willing to open their pocketbooks this Christmas season.
The head of the Czech Roman Catholic church, Archbishop Dominik Duka, hosted Christmas lunch for homeless people. The lunch, organized for the 14th time by the Sant'Egidio community, was held in the Archbishop Palace and the Capuchin Monastery in Hradčany. Some 270 guests arrived to enjoy the traditional liver dumpling soup, beef in cream sauce, roast duck with cabbage and dumplings, and Christmas cookies. Every guest also received a small gift.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
“I am taking it minute by minute” – Foreigners in the Czech Republic on quarantine and being cut off from their families
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Czechs resort to making DIY facemasks in face of their shortage
Why Chinese masks destined for Italy were seized (not ‘stolen’) by Czech authorities