Events abound in the city of Prague. In each season, you are sure to catch a Prague festival that travelers to the city look forward to. Indulge in these fabulous festivals in Prague and you will definitely want to see more when you come back in this festive metropolis.
People in the center of Prague celebrate the St. Nicholas’ Eve every fifth day of December and they do this by dressing up as St. Nicholas, an angel and a devil to symbolize confession, reward and punishment. These costumed people wander the streets of Prague while the rest of the grown men in the city drink beer instead. Czech composers showcase their musical pieces in the classical Bohuslav Martinů Festival.
During December, Prague is in a very festive mood as proven by Christmas markets at the Old Town square. Stalls sell various items and souvenirs. If you’re not in the mood to shop, you can watch street performers while you enjoy the Christmas spirit in Prague. Get bedazzled by spectacular fireworks at the Prague Castle or Vyšehrad in New Years Eve (Sylvester).
Other winter merriment include the Prague Writers Festival (for lovers of literature), Jan Palach Day on January 19 (to honor the death of university student Jan Palach after he set himself on fire as protest), and the Bohemian Carnival on February 13 to 24.
There can be quite a list of festivals in Prague during spring. One is the One World International Film Festival and the International Music Festival in March. Prague’s more subtle version of Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day is the St. Joseph’s Day. For film fest aficionados, the Febiofest is a must-see because of the 500 movies shown in this independent film festival.
Warm weather is anticipated during the St. Matthew’s Fair at Vystaviste. Petřín Hill in Prague celebrate the end of winter and the new birth of spring through the Witches’ Night every April 30th. Book World Prague is at the Industrial Palace which is at the Prague Exhibition Grounds starts at the end of April as well where many exhibitors from 26 different countries will show off the latest in great literature.
The famed Prague Spring International Music Festival is a series of classical music and dance performances in churches, palaces and concert halls that mesmerizes visitors annually. Celebrations start with a procession from Smetana’s grave going to the concert hall in Municipal House. Gypsy culture is showcased through the festival called Khamoro.
Other popular festivals in Prague during spring are the Prague Fringe, International Tattoo Convention, and the World Festival of Puppet Art.
Pay your respects at the New Jewish Cemetery to one of Prague’s greatest writers, Franz Kafka, in his death anniversary every third of June. Bell-ringing at Bethlehem Chapel the night before the Jan Hus Day can be heard at the city. This is to honor the burning at the stake of Bohemian religious reformer Jan Hus in 1415.
Join the festivities at the international festival of contemporary dance and movement theater in Dance Prague (Tanec Praha). The 10-day Festival of Italian Operas at the State Opera House is also a good choice of event to attend to since it is an opportunity to catch very good productions outside the main opera season.
Summer is not a bummer in Prague with a few more festival to see like the Summer Old Music Festival, United Islands of Prague, Mystic Skate Cup, and Shakespeare Summer Festivities.
You will enjoy three weeks performance of classical music during the Prague Autumn International Music Festival. This is held at the famed Rudolfinum where you’ll witness Czech orchestras, Russian symphony orchestras and choirs, virtuoso violinists, symphonic arrangements of jazz and other talents. Strings of Autumn Festival also showcases classical music.
For jazz fans, the International Jazz Festival in October must not be missed because jazz legends from all around the world attend and perform during this event. This is usually held at at Lucerna Music Bar.
Praguers also celebrate every year their first grape harvests by playing traditional music while drinking young wine. The celebration is called Vinohrady Grape Harvest. Czechs commemorate the Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution every November 17 at the Wenceslas Square. They regard this event in their history as life-changing.
Prague festivals are unique and distinct so if you are in the city, you might want to include attendance in these festivities in your city tour plan.