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October 28th is quite successfully behind us, let’s get ready for November 17th. The Czech Republic is expecting its second “big” public holiday in less than three weeks, which is unique in the world.
(Of course, I have no idea if this is a world first, but it could very well be, and if it isn’t, it’s certainly interesting anyway.) It’s not a coincidence, as anyone who’s heard of 1939 knows, so I don’t need to repeat it here .
October 28th and November 17th form an odd pair of competitors facing off in what someone very inventively called a “national holiday” and a “public holiday” in a debate on the X Network, which is about the most accurate description possible. invent.
October 28 is a day that belongs primarily to politicians. They meet in the cleared Vítkov and in the Vladislav Hall to incite the half of the nation that hates them with their speeches and the list of honorees. It’s a day of official ceremonies and promotions, and it’s all about the starched and carefully pressed white shirt we put on once a year because it’s the right thing to do. And the shops are closed so that we can fully appreciate the festive moment.
November 17 is usually much more cheerful. Politicians also try to show off, but with their wreath they have to make their way through the crowds of voters on Národní trída to the archway, who go there to celebrate their nostalgia and often try in vain to pass it on to their fed-up descendants, who know exactly what they will hear again that day. I know something about it, I’ve been doing it for many years.
The whole thing is much more spontaneous, people meet, drink beer, and whoever can stand it can go on a rampage on Wenceslas Square until ten in the evening at the 5.5-hour Concert for the Future, which is probably the only similar event in the world that can be moderated by a person with all conceivable speech impediments. And the shops are open.
For lack of other more meaningful entertainment, I am put up a poll on the X network, which holiday is closer to people: October 28, November 17, or the one that falls on a weekday? The results from more than seven thousand voters are probably not surprising: 52 percent for November, 35 percent for any weekday and just 13 percent for October.
Several other tips also appeared in the debate. On January 1 as the Day of the Unnecessary Hangover and the Restoration of the Independent Czech State in 1993, or September 28, the Day of Czech Statehood, or “Day of Servility and Collaboration,” as Miloš Zeman once called it, which I think coincides quite nicely with the fact that the former Czech president celebrates his birthday on September 28.
The victory on November 17 in the poll is quite understandable. There are quite a few of us commemorators still running around here, and even though we sometimes hear from youths that we should go to hell with all the pathos, tricolors, clamshells from the fingers and jingling keys, we will not let it be taken away.
This was shown, for example, seven years ago, when the left-leaning House of Representatives renamed the then “Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy” at the suggestion of MP Helena Válková from ANO to “International Student Day and the Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy”, which the Senate was still able to stop – the name it reminded a little too much of his pre-November form and also of the International Student Union, the infamous Bolshevik organization that was once headed by the Prague party boss Miroslav Štěpán.
Two years later, however, the name was changed again, this time to the more compromise “Day of the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy and International Student Day”, which is still valid today, although many members of my generation would prefer the more apt “The day when the communists finally went to hell – or at least some”.
But in the end it doesn’t matter. The people who take to the streets in Prague or anywhere else throughout the Czech Republic on November 17th know exactly why they are doing it. And it’s worth it to them, every year and all the time, because it’s a reminder of the day since when our ups and downs, successes and disasters are more or less the responsibility of only ourselves and it can’t be blamed on anyone.
By the way, if you would like to see Happy Monday on a holiday, we can do it from 1:10 p.m. during the live broadcast of the Happy Podcast under the name “Grandfather, tell” right on Národní třida in the building called DRN. We look forward to you!
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