1st May is celebrated in Czech as “Svátek zamilovaných” (love day), known for couples, kissing under the tree in bloom.

Perhaps every Czech is able to recite at least a couple of verses from Máj (May), a famous poem written by the romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha. It goes like this:

It was late evening, on the first of May,
The eve of May was the time of love.
The turtle-dove´s voice called to love,
Where rich and sweet pinewoods lay.

It is Mácha’s sculpture in Prague Petřín where, on May 1st (or on another day of May), lovers would come with flowers to spend some pleasant time on top of the mountain, high above the city.

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The celebration of May has been a Czech tradition for centuries. There is a widely spread custom of kissing your love under a blooming cherry tree or birch. The tradition says that on May 1st a girl should be kissed under a cherry blossom so she will stay beautiful all year round. But finding a cherry blossom in Prague can be difficult so kissing under any blooming tree should do.

 

From Warwickshire, UK. Journalist, editor and presenter. BA. Hons. Journalism, Liverpool John Moores University (BJTC certified).