Prague Events and Annual Festivals

There is always something happening all year round. For most events you can buy tickets online or at Prague's numerous tickets agents and very often tickets are also available at the door too.
 

 

WINTER

 

St. Nicholas' Eve

Date: 5 December. This is mostly celebrated in the city centre. People wander around the streets in threesomes, dressed as St. Nicholas, an angel and a devil, symbolising confession, reward and punishment. On this day grown men stick to the hobby of beer drinking. (Read more)

 

The Bohuslav Martinů Festival

Since 1995, this classical music festival is held in Prague. The main attraction is the musical performances by famous Czech composers. website

 

International Festival of Advent and Christmas Music

Held from the first Advent weekend in Prague, this festival features a variety of concerts of Advent and Christmas music. webiste

 

Christmas market on Old Town Square

During December a giant Christmas tree lights up the centre of the square, while the space around it is crammed with market stalls selling carved toys, ceramics, glass figurines, Christmas gifts, delicious gingerbread cakes, barbecued sausages and mulled wine. Entertainment is provided by street performers. Even if you are not there to do shopping you can enjoy watching street performers and indulge yourself in the Christmas atmosphere.

 

New Year's Eve (Silvester)

On 31 December head for spectacular fireworks and a mellower pace at Prague Castle or Vyšehrad. For great festivities go to Old Town Square where live big screening and other performances are held. Other places to go are Wenceslas Square, and Old Town and New Town. Be prepared for streets packed with crowds of tourists and champagne bottles smashed everywhere.

 

Prague Winter Festival

An annual festival of opera, ballet, and classical music which began already under communism in 1972. Venues include Prague’s National Theater, The Estates Theatre, Rudolfinum and more. www.ifbbohemia.cz www.praguewinter.cz

 

Prague Writers Festival

For all Literati lovers come to hear the reading of extracts and hobnob. It is your chance to see Czech literal idols. www.pwf.pragonet.cz (Read more)

 

Jan Palach Day

On 19 January the country marks the day in 1969 when a very young university student, Jan Palach, died after setting fire to himself on Wenceslas Square to protest about the invasion by Warsaw Pact troops the previous August and the subsequent Soviet occupation of former Czechoslovakia.

 

Bohemian Carnival

Date: 26 February to 8 March. You will see costumes and street parades in the heart of the city centre. Prague's Bohemian Carnival offers a great programme of events for both children and adults. (Read more) website

 

Shrovetide

The Czech Mardi Gras festival, outdoor and indoor celebrations, especially in Žižkov, culminate with a parade and music on Fat Tuesday (also known as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday). (Read more)
 

 

SPRING
 

One World International Film Festival

This take place at the beginning of March. www.jedensvet.cz (Read more)

 

International Music Festival

A series of classical and contemporary concerts is performed in venues all over the city throughout March.

 

Festival of Modern Magic

festival of magic arts held in March.

 

European Film Days

festival of contemporary European films shown at various screens across the capital (March). website

 

St. Joseph's Day

is a more subdued version of the Irish St. Patrick's Day and is celebrated around the same time in March every year. (Read more)

 

Febiobest

Starting at the end of March, an independent film festival features more than 500 movies. Many are movies with English subtitles. www.febiofest.cz (Read more)

 

St. Matthew's Fair

St. Matthew's Fair (Matějská Pouť) marks the arrival of warm weather and features cheesy rides for children at Prague's exhibition grounds at Vystaviste. Admission is 50 CZK. During February and March the location is Prague Exhibition Grounds (Výstaviště), Holešovice. (Read more)

 

Witches' Night

Date: 30 April. This festival marks the end of winter and the new birth of spring. Bonfires are lit to purge the winter spirits. These festivals are mostly found in the countryside but can be seen at Petřín Hill in Prague as well. (Read more)

 

Book World Prague

Starting at the end of April hundreds of exhibitors from 26 different countries will show off the latest in great literature. Book World Prague is at the Industrial Palace, Prague Exhibition Grounds. www.bookworld.cz

 

Prague International Marathon

Datre: May. The route runs throughout the city. Join the other runners from all around the world. After the run finish be prepared for a great street party. The whole race is 42km (26 miles) but you can take the shorter option of the 10km (6 miles) race or even the family fun run, a 2km walk for health. For the full marathon run you have to pay a registration fee of 300 to 600 CZK. (Read more) website

 

Prague Spring International Music Festival

Date: 12 May-3 June. This is a famous series of classical music and dance performances in churches, palaces and concert halls, drawing thousands of visitors every year. Enjoy a first-class symphony, opera and chamber music from talented artists. The celebrations begin with a procession from Smetana's grave in Vyšehrad to his namesake concert hall in Municipal House. www.festival.cz

 

Khamoro

At the end of May you can visit the international festival of gypsy culture, an exuberant demonstration of Romany culture from around the world. The festival features concerts, seminars and workshops. www.khamoro.cz (Read more)

 

Prague Fringe

A fringe theatre festival takes place in various parts of the city. Most of the time the performances are in English. www.praguefringe.com

 

International Tattoo Convention

The tattoo fair takes place in late May, on a weekend at the SK Slavia Praha complex at Strahov. website

 

World Festival of Puppet Art

The Marionette theatre festival takes place all over Prague in the month of May.  www.puppetart.com

 

Mezi Ploty

A theater and music festival at the Bohnice psychiatric facility, usually taking place over a weekend in late May. www.meziploty.cz

 

Czech Beer Festival

Is the largest gastronomic event in the Czech Republic calls attention to the wondrous varieties of Czech Beer in late May. website

 

 

SUMMER  

 

Anniversary of Franz Kafka's death

Date: 3 June. Honour the memory of one of Prague's great writers on the anniversary of Franz Kafka's death, when admirers from around the world visit the artist's resting place to pay respects. The venue is the New Jewish Cemetery.

 

United Islands of Prague

There are various venues across the city throughout June. Expect beers stands and concerts at Vltava river front. www.unitedislands.cz (Read more)

 

Czech Folklore Festival

Large celebration of folk music and Czech culture and heritage that takes place in various towns across the Czech Republic throughout the summer.

 

Mystic Skate Cup

The International pro-skateboarding cup is held in the specially designed Mystic Skate Park on Štvanice Island. website

 

Dance Prague (Tanec Praha)

In June you should not miss the international festival of contemporary dance and movement theatre. Now this festival is one of the most successful in Prague. www.tanecpraha.cz (Read more)

 

Shakespeare Summer Festivities

Through June to September there are Shakespeare performances at Prague Castle Complex. www.shakespeare.cz

 

Respect Festival

This world music weekend is held at various venues across the city in June, including the Akropolis and Štvanice island. website

 

Prague Proms

Classical music festival brings foreign and domestic talent to Prague throughout July. website

 

Prague International Organ Festival

Festival for organ lovers, held annually in Prague, presenting a series of organ concerts by well-known organ virtuosos from all over the world. The venue where the concerts are held is the stunning baroque St. James Basilica right beside Prague's Old Town square. (July-August) website

 

Summer Old Music Festival

This is held at Collegium Marianum throughout June. It is quite popular and also attracts some of the best performers around. www.tynska.cuni.cz

 

Jan Hus Day

Celebrations are held on 6 July to commemorate the 1415 burning at the stake of Bohemian religious reformer Jan Hus. It kicks off with low-key gatherings and bell-ringing at Bethlehem Chapel the evening before.

 

Ameropa

Large festival of chamber music held at a variety of Prague concert halls throughout July and August. website

 

Festival of Italian Operas (Verdi Festival)

In late August come to see this 10-day festival featuring Italian operas at the State Opera House. The festival provides a chance to see very good productions outside the main opera season.

 

The Prague Horn

International horn music festival held in August. website

 

 

AUTUMM  

 

Strings of Autumn Festival

This is held during September to November. Visit this festival of classical music. www.strunypodzimu.cz (Read more)

 

 

Golden Prague

International Television Festival of music and dance programmes. (Ocober) website

 

Musica Ecumenica

International Choir Competition of Sacred Music (in October). website

 

Halloween

31st of October — If you are interested in an unusual, slightly terrifying Halloween holiday, Old Prague is the place. Its mysterious, winding alleys are full of ghosts and macabre legends. Jack-o-Lanterns and gruesome monsters grin from every shop window, and phantoms are welcomed in every nightclub and disco.

 

Young Prague

International youth theatre and music festival. (November) www.youngprague.cz

 

Vinohrady Grape Harvest

In late September you can visit the annual celebration of the country's first grape harvest. There is traditional music and crafts along with plenty of young wine.

 

International Jazz Festival

This commences in the last week in October (this week-long festival has a tradition of more than 30 years). If you like jazz, this festival should not be missed especially as you can see performances by jazz legends from all around the world, with plenty of local stars in between. The festival is held in several venues across Prague but mostly at Lucerna Music Bar. www.jazzfestivalpraha.cz (Read more)

 

Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution

17 November is a day which changed the lives of Czechs. A commemoration and wreath-laying ceremony is conducted on Wenceslas Square.


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