September 28 – Day of Czech Statehood

A little bit about the Day of Czech Statehood and St. Wenceslas.

Usually, the public holiday on September 28 is the day of nation-wide celebrations including fireworks, fairs and church masses. It’s also called St. Wenceslas’ Day and it’s this day that marks the anniversary of the death of the patron saint of Czech Republic. The historians aren’t quite sure if the year was 929 or 935 and so the only thing we know for sure is that St. Wenceslas was murdered in Stará Boleslav by the crew of his younger brother, duke Boleslav.

Patron Saint

Duke Wenceslas or Václav in Czech was a very educated man, he could write and read in Latin which was uncommon in his era. Although we don’t know much about his life, we know that he was taken care of by his grandmother Ludmila whose murder was ordered by Wenceslas’ mother Drahomíra.

Statue of St. Wenceslas on Wenceslas Square, Prague

A famous anthem called St. Wenceslaus Chorale, dedicated to the duke, is a melody you will hear in many places around the country on every September 28 since the 12th century.

And I’m sure you know the Christmas carol about the good king Wenceslas which also refers to the truly good and godly duke Wenceslas. Here it is:

And just a month later, on October 28, there’s another important holiday – the Independent Czechoslovak State Day!

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