Saints Cyril and Methodius Day is celebrated as a public holiday in the Czech Republic and Slovakia because they are considered co-patron saints of these countries.
The two Byzantine Greek brothers are very important for Czech history. They brought Christianity to the Great Moravian Empire in the year 863 and created the liturgical Slavonic language and alphabet called hlaholice (the Glagolitic alphabet). They translated the Bible and contributed to the spread of Christianity and the Old Slavonic Language (staroslověnština) throughout Great Moravia.
In the Czech Republic, the holiday was originally celebrated on March 9, but the date was changed by Pope Pius IX to July 5.
Saints Cyril and Methodius were brothers, they were born in Thessalonica, Byzantine Empire (present-day Greece). In 862, they were sent as missionaries to Great Moravia (present-day Slovakia and the Czech Republic) at the request of Prince Rastislav.
Schools, offices, and businesses are closed on Slavic Missionaries Cyril and Methodius Day in the Czech Republic. Many take the day to reflect on the evangelical works of the brothers designed to spread the word of Christianity. Prayer services and church events are planned in order to pay homage to the two brothers, who both are named saints, for their contributions to the country.