Prague, Czech Republic » Entertainment » Festivals
Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with festivals and events held throughout the year attracting a variety of visitors.
Events include opera performances, museums or galleries, exhibitions, classical or modern musical concerts and film festivals.
Beginning from January, right throughout the calendar year, Prague offers an impressive line-up of festivals and important periodical cultural events.
Anniversary of Jan Palach’s Death: A memorial takes places in Wenceslas Square around the 19th of January which is dedicated to the student of Charles University who burned himself to death in protest against the Soviet takeover. (1969).
Three Kings’ Day: Also known as the Twelfth Night, this represents the official ending of the Christmas season. People usually gather around a group of carol singers and gifts are given to those less fortunate.
Prague Winter: This is an annual festival of opera, (classical music which has started since 1972). Generally these concerts take place in Prague's National Theatre.
Masopust: This is the Czech Mardi Gras Festival, which is held in the district of Zizkov and usually ends with a parade through the streets of Prague.
People enjoy dressing up in costumes which represent mythical characters. ‘Masopust’ means to give up meat, and this is the last chance to have a meat feast before the fasting begins. The celebrations go on for about three days leading up to Lent.
Birthday of Tomas G Masaryk: This is an annual remembrance of Prague’s first president, which takes place on the 7th of March.
Easter Monday: This is a big celebration in Prague, when most of the young party and the older generation gather at each other’s houses, feasting and drinking till the early hours of the morning. It is traditional for a man to give a yellow ribbon to the girl they like and the woman gives hand painted eggs. Both of these gifts are on sale throughout the city and the Czech Republic during this period.
FebioFest: This is one of the largest film festivals of Prague which takes place in late March showcasing new films, renowned films and films of famous film-makers.
St Matthew Fair: This begins from the 24th of February up until the Easter weekend. The fairground includes roller coasters, game stalls, candyfloss stands and lots more.
Writers’ Festival: This is a gathering of writers who come from all over the world to discuss and share their work. This is held in Prague and includes bookshop events and public lectures.
Jeden Svět/One World: Films on human rights are showcased in this Documentary film festival. The films are screened in Prague cinemas.
Witches' Night: On 30th of April, in various parts of Prague the witch-burning festival is celebrated. Unofficially it is celebrated on Petřín hill. Brooms are burnt and bonfires take place throughout the evening in an attempt to ward off evil.
Book World Prague: As the name suggests, it is an International book fair which takes place at the Vystaviste exhibition grounds. It includes book launches, English readings by authors and lectures.
Labour Day: On the 1st of May there is a national holiday and people generally go on trips into the country to enjoy the arrival of spring. Many couples also lay flowers by the statue of the romantic poet Karel Hynek Macha.
Khamoro: This is an international festival of Roma culture which is held at the end of May. A parade usually takes place in Stare Mesto, and there are art and photography displays which are complimented by various musical concerts.
Prague Fringe: A fringe theatre festival takes place in various parts of the city. Most of the time the performances are in English.
International Tattoo Convention: The tattoo fair takes place in May, on a weekend at the SK Slavia Praha complex at Strahov.
Prague International Marathon: This marathon takes place in May, with music concerts. Participants from all around the world can take part in this event.
World Festival of Puppet Art: The Marionette theatre festival takes place all over Prague in the month of May.
Prague Spring: One of the major international classical music festivals takes place at various venues throughout May and June. Events take place in historical buildings, churches and theatres across Prague.
Český Krumlov Chamber Music Festival: This is a festival of chamber music, which has taken place since 1987.
Czech Folklore Festival: Folk music, Czech culture and heritage is observed in this festival. It takes place throughout the summer.
Dance Prague Tanec Praha: This is a modern dance festival which takes place in theatres all over Prague city. The festival lasts for the whole month of June.
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival: This is one of the largest film festivals of the Czech Republic. It is also one of the oldest festivals in Europe. Various celebrities attend this festival each year.
Jan Hus Day: A celebration is held in the memory of Jan Hus (the Bohemian religious protestor), who was burnt at the stake in 1415.
Summer Shakespeare Festival: Classic Shakespeare plays are performed in the courtyard of Prague Castle.
Mystic Skate Cup: The International pro-skateboarding cup is held in the specially designed Mystic Skate Park on Štvanice Island.
Trutnov Open Air Music Festival: This is one of the largest open air music festivals held in Trutnov.
International Organ Festival: Concerts are organised with a variety of European organists in St. James' Basilica, which takes place throughout August till September.
Festival of Italian Opera: This takes place at the Prague State Opera house and features many quality Italian opera performances, including the famous work of Verdi.
Wine Festivals: During wine harvesting, various wine festivals are held throughout the country. Burčák is the sweet tasting young wine which is only partially fermented. In late September, Vinohradské vinobraní, the largest wine harvesting celebration takes place in the Vinohrady district.
Prague Autumn: In this festival the works of Czech composers and world artists are presented. This is an international festival of classical music held in various concert halls. This is the autumn version of Prague Spring. Usually the concerts are held at the Rudolfinum. Prague Autumn has rapidly gained a reputation for attracting the world's greatest composers.
Strings of Autumn: This is a big international music festival held in the National Theatre and other venues in Autumn.
International Jazz Festival: This has been a popular event since 1964 and lasts for two weeks. Performances include Czech and international musicians and take place usually at the Reduta Jazz Club.
Prague German-Language Theater Festival: Theatre performances are presented by artists from Germany and Austria.
Christmas and New Year: This is when Prague attracts most of its tourists. Many enjoy discovering the beautiful city’s history whilst it is covered in snow. Parties and celebrations go on throughout Christmas until the New Year. A Christmas market is held in the Old Town Square. Also the International Festival of Advent and Christmas Music is held during this period.
The Bohuslav Martinů Festival in Prague: Since 1995, this classical music festival is held in Prague. The main attraction is the musical performances by famous Czech composers.