Prague’s Easter Markets run from 21st March right through to 12th April
Even though the Czech Republic is known to be one of the world’s least religious countries, the Czech people still tend to celebrate Easter with an unusual degree of enthusiasm. Easter (Velikonoce, in Czech) was stripped of its religious connotations under Communism, becoming simply a celebration of spring. Since 1989, however, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday have been revived as national holidays. For most Czechs, though, Easter festivities have more in common with pagan traditions than with Christian celebrations.
Since the fall of communism, Prague’s Easter markets have also enjoyed a renaissance. Czechs and tourists come together in their thousands to browse the colourful market stalls and soak up the atmosphere.
Prague’s Easter markets are open every day from 21st March to 12th April 2015 at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Wooden huts display handicrafts such as crystal and glassware, jewellery, metalware, candles, wooden toys, embroidered cloth, and beautifully dressed puppets and dolls. A Czech speciality which is found on many of the stalls is brightly coloured, hand-painted Easter eggs. Czech ladies dressed in traditional costume can personalise these for you by painting on a name or a special message. The market stalls also offer a wide range of local food and drink. Large hams are roasted on spits, wonderfully tasty sausages (klobása) are barbecued and cakes and pastries are prepared in front of you – including ‘Trdelník’, a hot sugar coated pastry.
Many of the famous Czech beers are on offer, including Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar – and also a variety of warm drinks.
The Prague Easter markets are free to enter. The city centre is compact, making it ideal for pedestrians. The Easter markets and the sights and attractions are within walking distance of many of the central hotels, whether they are in the old town or Wenceslas Square areas.
Added entertainment for visitors is provided by school folk groups and dancers who perform on a stage which is erected amongst the markets in the Old Town Square. The entertainment takes place most days from mid-afternoon into early evening. In addition to this free entertainment, it’s also well worth buying a ticket for a classical concert. At this time of year there are some wonderful performances in the city’s ancient churches and grand concert halls
The opera and ballet season is also in full swing, with performances at the Prague opera houses always very popular.
With weather conditions likely to be fairly pleasant, Easter is certainly an excellent time to visit Prague.