Prague Easter markets » 17 March - 08 April 2018
The Prague Easter markets are open daily at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Visitors can browse the stalls for handcrafted goods, taste hearty local food and drink, and observe Czech Easter traditions - Easter photos.
Prague Easter Markets 2018
The Prague Easter markets are open every day from 17th March to 08th April 2018, including on Easter Friday, Sunday and Monday.
The main markets are at the Old Town Square
and Wenceslas Square
(5 minutes walk from each other).
There are also smaller markets at Republic Square, at Havel's Market
, on Kampa Island, and on the square in front of St. George's Basilica
at Prague Castle
What are the Easter Markets?
The Easter markets consist of wooden huts decorated with the bright colours of spring stocked with handicrafts such as glassware, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, ceramics, scented candles, and puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costume.
Visitors should find some nice souvenirs to take home, to decorate their houses or for use as Christmas gifts.
The most common sight however is brightly coloured hand-painted Easter eggs, which Czech ladies dressed in traditional costume can personalise for you by painting on a name or special message.
But the markets are not just about shopping. You can sample all manner of local food and drink, and observe traditional foods
Large hams are roasted on spits, there are some wonderfully tasty barbequed sausages (klobása), and cakes and pastries are prepared in front of you, like 'Trdelník', a hot sugar coated pastry.
To accompany the food, try a Czech beer
- Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or Budvar - or choose from a variety of other beverages. 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!
|And look out for the school folk groups and dancers dressed in traditional costume, who perform regularly on a stage at the Old Town Square, travelling from all over the Czech Republic to appear.|
Children and the Easter Markets
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 at certain times 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 kids can participate in making traditional handicrafts (i.e. egg painting, and making baskets and whips).
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 all be within easy walking distance.
The Prague Easter markets are free to enter. Stay in the city centre, and 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. Then when you're ready to freshen up, it's just a short walk home - hotels
.Entertainment & Sightseeing
There is entertainment on offer throughout the duration of the Easter markets. In particular, we recommend buying a ticket for a classical concert.
Concerts in beautiful churches and historic buildings are magical at this time of year - concerts
The opera and ballet season is also in full swing - opera and ballet
And for a typically Czech experience, a trip to a black light or marionette theatre can be a fun activity - theatre
Sightseeing is naturally a major reason to visit Prague, and the colours of spring bring the squares and historic buildings to life at this time of year. A sightseeing tour can help you discover the true beauty of the city - from a stroll around the city to coach tours to river cruises, there are lots of ways to explore Prague - sightseeing
.What's open over the Easter weekend (30 March - 02 April 2018)?
The Easter markets are open every day.
The sights and attractions are open as normal on Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday. Only certain places open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, and many have limited opening hours.
Sightseeing tours and excursions operate as normal throughout the Easter weekend.
Opera houses, concert halls and theatres are open throughout the Easter weekend, and there are special Easter classical concerts.
Restaurants, bars, cafés and clubs are open every day.
Shops are open as normal on Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday. Only some shops are open on Good Friday and Easter Monday, and many have limited opening hours.
Prague is a very popular city to visit over the Easter weekend. Advance reservations for all tourist services are recommended, as venues and tours frequently sell out.
|Origins of the Easter Markets|
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 Judas.
The same walk is repeated on "Good Friday" and 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.
In recent times, for older boys the gifts of eggs and ribbons
have given way to offers of shots of alcohol.
So by the time they arrive home, these young men can be
at Old Town Sq. & Wenceslas Sq.
17 March-08 April:
at Prague Castle.
18 March-15 April:
30 March-02 April 2018.
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