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Bonfires, broomsticks and barbecues: Czechs mark Witches’ Night

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icymist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-02-10 02:19 PM
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Bonfires, broomsticks and barbecues: Czechs mark Witches’ Night
April 30 is Čarodějnice, or Witches’ Night. In the past, this date was believed to bring the arrival of spring. People would gather to burn bonfires in order to dispel evil spirits. Nowadays, the celebration is still popular among Czechs, and the organizers of Prague’s biggest witches’ night celebration at Ladronka park are getting ready for a night full of magic and fire.

In medieval times, one of the year’s biggest festivities fell on the last night of April. This major pagan celebration is known under many names in modern Czech. They include Valpuržina noc, after Saint Walburga – the first of May was the day of her canonization – and Beltine, from the Celtic word for the celebration, Beltain.

More at Radio Czech
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