Some 60 percent of Czechs would like to turn Good Friday into a state holiday, according to a poll conducted by the Median agency. Thirty-three percent of respondents are against the idea. According to sociologist Daniel Prokop, most people don’t regard the day as a religious symbol, but rather as an opportunity to have a day off. The idea is mostly supported by people who are employed; 70 percent of those would like to make Good Friday a state holiday. On the other hand, 50 percent of the self-employed are against the idea, claiming that they would fail to benefit.
The Christian Democrats are pushing to make Good Friday a state holiday in the Czech Republic, as it is in several European states. Previous attempts to give workers a day off on the religious holiday have failed. However, a senior party figure says the Christian Democrats are now hopeful of finding support for the revival of a tradition ended by the Communists.
Some of the country’s most popular castles and chateaux opened their doors to the public this weekend, marking the start of the tourist season. Among them are Karlšejn, Křivoklát and Konopište, which annually attract over half a million visitors. Prague Castle also opened its doors to visitors this weekend. The country’s other historical attractions are due to open the season on April 1st or the long Easter weekend with price cuts and special events for visitors.
Meteorologists say that while daily temperatures will be cooler than average in the Czech Republic in the coming days, the upcoming Easter holidays will be fairly warm - around 17 degrees Celsius with little chance of rain. Increased rainfall will come only after the first week of April, forecasters say.
Czech composer and populariser of folk music Pavel Jurkovič has died at the age of 81. Jurkovič was mainly known for his series on Czech Television ‘Zpívánky‘ which introduced children to folk music. Music was a tradition in Jurkovič‘s family and at the age of 12 he was sent to a renowned singing school in Prague. He was a recognised authority on medieval, baroque, and renaissance music and a prolific author on the subject.
A record number of visitors on Saturday came to see the carnival at the open-air museum at Veselý Kopec, near Hlinsko in eastern Bohemia. More than 2,000 people watched a group of young men from a village called Vortová, performing a procession with masks. The centuries-old folk tradition, which remained intact in several communities in the area, was added to the UNESCO list of world heritage in 2010.
Do you need a new shelf but you are fed up with going to IKEA again? Well, why not try making it yourself? If you don’t have the space or the tools, you can visit a DIY workshop in the centre of Prague. In case you are lacking the experience and skills, its owner, Hank Duke, can also provide the necessary know-how.
Czech mobile phone users made 44 million calls on Christmas Eve, according to data released by operators and quoted by the Czech News Agency. The number is a record for one day in the Czech Republic, which has a population of around 10.5 million, and was two million more than the figure registered on December 24 last year. The number of SMSes sent was, at 75.2 million, fewer than in 2013.
The recently installed mayor of Prague, Adriana Krnáčová doled out free fish soup on the city’s Old Town Square on Christmas Eve, upholding a tradition of the office. Praguers and tourists formed a long queue to receive the soup, which for many Czechs is the first course of Christmas dinner from Mayor Krnáčová, who was dressed in a chef's outfit. She was helped by other city councilors and the head of her ANO party, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš.
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