Traditional Easter celebrations in the Czech Republic have a strong religious connotation. However, many of the customs connected with this season date back to pre-Christian days. This is especially true of the eastern part of the country. Moravia is a historically and culturally distinct region and this is reflected also in the way local people celebrate this most important Christian holiday of the year.
Around Prague there are hundreds of stones inlaid in the pavement honouring the victims of the Holocaust. They are known as Stolpersteine, which literally translates as “stumbling stones”, while Czechs refer to them as “the stones of the disappeared”. Sometimes grimy and easy to miss, these stones have been receiving fresh attention thanks to Trevor Sage, who decided last year to go around the city and clean them all. Since then the retired Briton, who has been living here for over a decade, has created interactive maps and built up the Solpersteine
A group of Czech mothers known as the “breastfeeding guerrillas” – Kojící guerila – held a “feed-in” shortly before lunchtime on Monday at local branches of Austria’s Raiffeisen bank. The protest was called over a specific incident at a Prague branch, but is part of a long-running campaign to change public attitudes.
Prague this week for the first time hosted the European leg of the Startup World Cup & Summit, an annual event drawing hundreds of hopefuls and thousands of prospective investors. A Czech startup took the regional prize but lost out to a Swedish one for the continental prize – and $500,000 in seed money.
The Civic Democrats have come out with a new amendment to Czech driving legislation, which would allow drivers to have up to two lagers before taking the wheel. They hope to table the proposal at the next session of the Chamber of Deputies, but there appears to be scant support for the idea in the lower house.
The Czech Republic’s health minister has outlined a plan to reform the country’s long-neglected psychiatric care. The emphasis should be shifted from large psychiatric institutions to a network of mental health centres that would serve patients locally. Up to a third of psychiatric patients could be transferred to the centres by 2030.
From Monday no fewer than 500 new Czech-made electric bicycles will appear on the streets of Prague under the Freebike brand. Rental is via an app and users will be able to leave the bikes – which also work in traditional pedal mode – at “virtual stations” around the city. At the system’s launch on Thursday I spoke to Charles Butler of operators Homeport.