Czech National Holiday on October 28: Czechoslovak Independence Day

Markéta Burešová, Study in Czechia
Markéta Burešová, Study in Czechia
Culture and language, Helpful tips, Leisure activities
25 October 2023

Czech National Holiday on October 28: Czechoslovak Independence Day

Czechia is a country that preserves a rich history and traditions, and one of the key events it celebrates is the Czech National Holiday on October 28. This significant day reflects important events in modern Czech history and has a practical impact on the lives of its citizens today. In this article, we'll explore this holiday's essence and significance and how it is celebrated.


Essence and Historical Context

The Czech National Holiday on October 28 in the Czech Republic commemorates the anniversary of establishing an independent state. This day marks the anniversary of the creation of the first independent Czechoslovak state in 1918. This date is thus associated with the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the final achievement of independence for Czech and Slovak citizens. President Tomáš G. Masaryk became the leader of a state that was based on President Woodrow Wilson's 14 points, especially the principle of self-determination. Czechoslovakia became one of Europe's first successful multi-party parliamentary democracies. 


This day commemorates liberation from Austrian rule and the birth of the Czechoslovak Republic, a significant step in shaping the modern Czech identity. Celebrating Czechoslovak Independence Day means paying tribute to those who fought for freedom and independence during World War I.


Celebrations and Traditions

The celebrations of the Czechoslovak Independence Day are significant, and many people actively participate in various festivities. Here are some ways it is celebrated:

  1. Bestowal of State Honors: During the national holiday, state honours are awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to Czech society. Individual personalities are chosen for their contributions in various professional fields or exceptional courage in fighting for their values and beliefs, whether they defended them intellectually or directly on the battlefield.
  2. Concerts and Cultural Events: Many concerts and cultural events are held on the national holiday, allowing visitors to experience Czech music, dance, and art. The cycle of six symphonic poems 'Má Vlast' by the renowned Czech composer Bedřich Smetana is primarily performed at the Municipal House in Prague.
  3. Raising the National Flag: During this significant day, all state institutions are adorned with national flags. You can also see them in other places, such as trams, streets, etc.
  4. Open Day: Many Czech landmarks, government buildings, and ministries are open to the public on these days for visitors to explore.
  5. Parades and Military Displays: You can witness parades and military displays on October 28, which commemorate historical events and express pride in the Czech Republic. Those events are organised almost every five years in Prague.
  6. Business Hours and Services: October 28 is a public holiday, affecting the opening hours of businesses and public services. Many stores and institutions are closed, but restaurants and cafes often remain open and offer special promotions.


Practical Impact Today

October 28 also has a practical impact on modern life in the Czech Republic. Aside from restrictions on the opening hours of stores and banks, certain traffic routes may be limited due to parades and celebrations. It is important that this holiday allows people to reflect on their country's history, the importance of freedom and democracy, and what it means to be Czech.


In conclusion, the Czech National Holiday on October 28 commemorates a pivotal moment in the history of the Czech Republic when independence was achieved and the modern Czech national identity was formed. It strikes a delicate balance between celebrating the past and reflecting on the present, making it a crucial aspect of Czech culture and identity.