3:24 am

The Day of Establishment of the Independent Czechoslovak Republic

Today is the 90th anniversary of the establishment of an independent Czechoslovakia. The official website of the Czech Republic has this to say about the holiday:

Exactly one month later (than September 28’s "Day of Czech Statehood"), October 28, perhaps the most important day is remembered, which is associated with the existence of the Czechoslovak Republic itself. In 1918, after several decades of effort of Czechs and Slovaks for recognition of their national rights and the end of the World War I, the independent Czechoslovakia was established, one of the succession states of Austria-Hungary, consisting of Bohemia, Moravia, part of Silesia, Slovakia and Under-Carpathian Russia. On this day each year, the president of the republic, together with eminent state officers, places bunches of flowers on the grave of the first president and the leader of foreign revolt at the time of the World War I, Tomáš G. Masaryk, at the castle in Lány, and also at the monument in Vítkov. In the evening of this day, the president honors eminent personalities of cultural and social life.

Because of the Tuesday holiday, the schools are closed through at least Wednesday (some are closed all week, I’m told), so a lot of people are enjoying long weekends right now.

This doesn’t, alas, apply to English teachers, although we are off today.

Aside from it being a day off, there apparently isn’t much by way of traditions for celebrating this anniversary, although several of the concert halls and theaters are featuring particularly patriotic programs. Municipal House, for example, is playing Smetana’s Má Vlast (My Country) this evening, and his Libuše (an opera about the legendary princess who prophesied glory for the Czech nation) is being sung at Národní Divadlo this afternoon. And so I am off to the opera today.

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