May 1st is a national holiday in the Czech Republic. It is the Czech labor day. This is never a very exciting holiday except that it is a day off from work- and when isn’t that exciting?
But before it was a national day off of work, May 1st was the Czech Valentines Day, or a Day of Couples. This day is supposed to be spent with your husband, boyfriend, significant other in a park holding hands and being adorable. In Czech tradition, every woman and girl is supposed to be kissed under a blossoming tree. Despite one of my students saying it must be a cherry tree, I think in this country it is most likely going to be a blossoming apple tree.
This kiss under the blossom, laden boughs is supposed to promote youth, health and happiness in the woman. Interestingly, it reminds me of what the Easter tradition of switching a girls bottom is supposed to bring….Maybe the kiss makes up for the earlier beating?? I prefer the tradition of the kiss myself.
I thought that was a sweet little tid- bit of culture to pass on to anyone interested. Oh yes, and what better way to prepare for celebrating love by burning witches the night before!(or at least a paper mache image of a witch).
On the night and day of April 30th there are bonfires held around the country to signify when witches would have been burned back in the good old days. In modern times the witch signifies winter, not an actual witch. She is burned to purge the country of winters cold, snowy, grasp. I hope that it works and the last of winters chill disappears until next year.