Prague Easter markets » 01st-23rd April 2017
The Prague Easter markets display handcrafted goods, all manner of food and drink, and showcase the wonderful old customs of a traditional Czech Easter. So enjoy the bright colours of spring, browse the stalls and sample hearty local fare - Easter photos.
Prague Easter Markets 2017
The Prague Easter markets open every day from 01st to 23rd April 2017 at the Old Town Square
and Wenceslas Square
(5 minutes walk from each other).
The markets consist of brightly decorated wooden huts selling traditional handicrafts: glassware, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, metalware, ceramics, scented candles, and puppets and dolls.
The most common sight is brightly coloured hand-painted Easter eggs, which Czech ladies dressed in traditional costumes can personalise for you by painting on a name or special message.
But Easter markets are not just about shopping. Visitors can observe traditional foods
being made, and sample all manner of local produce.
Large hams are roasted on spits, there are terribly unhealthy but wonderfully tasty barbequed sausages (klobása), and cakes and pastries prepared in front of you, such as 'Trdelník', a hot sugar coated pastry.
To quench your thirst, try one of the famous Czech beers
- Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar - or choose from a variety of hot drinks. Outdoor
shopping is so much nicer with an ice-cold beer or a cup of hot mulled wine (svařené víno or svařák) in your hand!
School folk groups and dancers dressed in traditional costume perform regularly on a stage at the Old Town Square. They travel to Prague from all over the Czech Republic to appear.
The Easter Markets for Children
As well as admiring the bright colours and spring flowers that decorate the markets, children can visit a farmyard pen to feed and stroke sheep, goats and a donkey. And on the stage at the Old Town Square, children can participate in Easter themed activities; making Easter chicks, painting eggs and flower pots, and cutting colourful ribbons.
| There is also a handicraft hut where visitors can join in making traditional handicrafts (i.e. egg painting, and making baskets and whips), to be taken home with you.|
How to make the most of the Easter Markets
Prague's city centre is compact, which is ideal for pedestrians. Book a hotel in Prague 1 (city centre), and the Easter markets and the sights and attractions
will be within easy walking distance.
The Prague Easter markets are free to enter. By staying in the city centre, whenever you fancy dropping in, you can leave your hotel and be in the midst of the markets in minutes. Grab a drink, browse the stalls, and soak up the atmosphere. And when you're ready to freshen up, it's just a short walk home - Prague hotels
.Entertainment & Sightseeing
Aside from the markets, there is a range of entertainment and sightseeing on offer. In particular, we recommend buying a ticket for a classical concert. Concerts in ancient churches and grand concert halls are magical at this time of year - Prague concerts
The opera and ballet season is also in full swing, with performances proving popular at the opera houses and theatres - Prague opera and ballet
And for a typically Czech experience, a trip to a black light theatre or marionette theatre can be a fun activity - Prague theatre
Sightseeing is a major reason to visit Prague. The colours of spring bring the squares, gardens and historic buildings to life at this time of year. A sightseeing tour will help you discover the true beauty of the city - from walking tours to coach tours to river cruises, there is an enjoyable way for everyone to explore Prague - Prague sightseeing
An easy, good value way to arrange a Prague city break is to book a Prague Package
For weather, currency exchange and practical information: Prague tourist information
For more information on the layout of the city: Prague tourism guide
Origins of the
Easter Markets in Prague
The Prague Easter markets originate from a time long before the communist era and were deeply tied to religious festivities. Under
communism though the markets suffered a demise, as the religious aspects of Easter were banned and celebrations were limited to welcoming in spring.
Since the fall of communism, the markets have enjoyed a renaissance. Czechs and tourists come together in their thousands today, to browse the colourful market stalls and soak up the atmosphere.
To help visitors understand the
traditions on display at the markets in Prague, we offer an insight
into a traditional Czech Easter, as celebrated in the towns and villages across the country. Easter is an exciting
time of year, particularly for Czech children:
Children finish school
on "Ugly Wednesday." The following day ("Green Thursday") boys equip themselves with wooden rattles, called "rehtacka". They then form a group and walk through their local village or town, shaking their rattles vigorously. This, as tradition dictates, scares off
The same walk is repeated on "Good Friday" and
then once more on "White Saturday". On Saturday, progress is slowed by the boys
stopping at every house and
shaking their rattles until they receive a present!
The greatest symbol
of Easter is the egg, with its connections of spring
and new life. On Easter Sunday, the girls and women of the village paint eggs ("kraslice"). This is a skilled affair with many variations on the decoration; usually a mixture of watercolours, picture stickers, bee's wax, straw and/or feathers.
For particularly well decorated eggs there is even an Easter egg contest held annually in Prague.
As girls paint their Easter eggs, the boys prepare their Easter whips ("pomlázka"), ready for Easter Monday. This is not the kind of whip used on horses, but is made from osier twigs, braided together. Once again, this takes some skill to make and the more twigs, the more difficult it is to braid a whip.
Visitors may see examples of these Easter whips in the Prague markets, should they wish to participate!
On Easter Monday people get up early. The boys and men set off on a whipping trip through the village.
Boys stop at people’s homes and whip the legs of every girl and woman who live in the house.
Small boys are required to recite an Easter carol as they go about their whipping.
As if the whipping is not enough, a popular custom is also to grab the girl and throw her in a bath of cold water, known as an "Easter dousing". The whipping and dousing is performed to chase away illness and bad spirits. They may not appreciate it at the time, but it is actually good for the girl!
Once all the whipping and
dousing is over, the girl, strangely enough, rewards
the boy with one of her painted eggs. She then ties a ribbon around his whip and he moves on to the next house.
As the boys progress through the village, their
bags fill with eggs and the whips become more and more colourful, with many bright ribbons attached.
For older boys, gifts of eggs and ribbons
have latterly given way to offers of shots of alcohol.
By the time they arrive home, these young men can be
01-23 April 2017:
Daily 10h-22h at
Old Town Square & Wenceslas Square.
14-17 April 2017.
|What's open over Easter weekend?|
The Easter markets are open every day.
The sights and attractions are open as normal on Saturday and Sunday. Many open on Good Friday and Easter Monday too, although some close or have limited opening hours.
Sightseeing tours and excursions operate as normal throughout the Easter weekend.
The opera houses, concert halls and theatres run daily performances.
Restaurants, bars, clubs and cafés are open every day.
Shops are open as normal on Saturday and Sunday. Many open on Good Friday and Easter Monday too, although some close or have limited opening hours.
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