Do Czechs celebrate Halloween? / Slavi Cesi Halloween? Do Czechs celebrate Halloween? | Czechmatediary

Do Czechs celebrate Halloween? / Slavi Cesi Halloween?

Happy belated Halloween! Although I am not a big of fan of Halloween ( why the heck would I celebrate ghosts and witches and dead people??) I do like to dress up. You see, the Czechs don’t have Halloween at all; we celebrate the All Saint’s Day on November 2nd which is nothing like Halloween. People basically go to the cemeteries during the day and lay candles on their beloved’s graves to honor and remember them. “Well, do you guys ever dress up??”, you may wonder. And yes, we do! Except it is not on any particular day; it may be any day of the year and we call it the Carnival. I used to love carnivals when I was a kid. My mom would always make us our costumes, some year better than others, depending on if she was in a “carnival mood” or not. One time she made my brother a robot costume made out of old cardboard boxes and a bunch of aluminum foil. My brother won that year.

Other times, my parents would just stick a tennis racket in my hand and said: “Here you go, now if anyone asks, you say you are dressed up as a tennis player”. I am not even sure why we tried to win since 99% of the time the main prize would go to our neighbor’s kids who’s grandma worked in a National Theater as a costume artist and would get all of her costumes from the professional wardrobe. I guess it’s the child’s innocent mind that always hopes and tries for the best in life.

This year my Czech friend and I got to go to a little Czech carnival here in the US. What a treat! We sang Czech songs, watched a puppet theatre and ate Czech food. I didn’t dress up (although have said that I was dressed up as a “mother”) but I made sure to dress up our little Hanicka. I may be a little subjective but I thought she looked so cute!! I mean, you put a bunny next to her and you wouldn’t know which one is which,right?!

CZ: Stastny a vesely Halloween! I kdyz ja moc velky fanousek Halloweenu nejsem (proc bych uctivala smrtky, duchy a mrtvoly??) obycejny cesky karneval se mi libi. Kdyz jsme byli s brachou mali, tak nam vyrabela kostymi mamka. Nekdy se ji to povedlo lepe, zalezelo na tom jestli byla v karnevalove nalade. Jednou udelala brachovy kostym robota vyrobeneho ze starych krabic a aluminoveho obalu a soutez tento rok taky vyhral. Nekdy by mi ale rodice 10 minut pred zacatkem karnevalu vrazili do ruky tenisovou raketu se slovy “Tak tady to mas, a kdyz se te nekdo zepta co jses, tak ze jses tenistka, jo?”. Mimochodem ani nevim, proc jsme se jako deti vubec snazily vyhrat, protoze z 99% cenu vzdycky vyhrali sousedovic deti, protoze jejich babicka pracovala jako kostymerka v Narodnim divadle.

Tento rok byl bajecny, ponevadz jsme s mou ceskou kamardkou nasly CESKY karvneval u nas – v USA! Zpivaly jsme ceske pisnicky, jedly ceska jidla a zdalky jsme s detmi sledovaly¬† manaskove divadlo. Sama jsem¬† zadny kostym nemela (tedy pardon, byla jsem prevlecena za “maminku”), ale z Hanicky se na den stal roztomily zajicek…

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie November 5, 2008 at 1:34 am

I love it! That curly hair… OH! She’s so cute, Tanja! Thank you.

Tanja November 5, 2008 at 11:13 am

Hi Katie,

that’s what you can look forward to down the road, righ?? I cute little baby – half CZECH, of course!!

Ivanhoe November 5, 2008 at 1:43 pm

OMG! Little Hani is soooo cute :o)
I always bring up Mikulas when talking about Czech “Halloween”. You know some people dress up as cert, andel and Mikulas. And than the good kids get all the sweets and the bad ones get potatoes and coal. That’s on 12/5 every year.

Tanja November 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm

That’s a great idea!! I haven’t even thought of that connection..

Tak to si musim tenhle typ teda zapamatovat…

Sue November 6, 2008 at 11:31 pm

She’s such a cute bunny!!
By the way.. Halloween isn’t about celebrating ghosts and witches. :) You dress up to keep them away… like making fun of them or just mirroring them.
Hubby isn’t used to it yet either.. but he loves the idea of free candy. Hehe

Tanja November 7, 2008 at 10:48 am

Hi Sue!

Thank you!

Why do you have to dress up to keep them away? Wouldn’t just some kind of a Garlic necklace do the job ?? ;)

Jana November 9, 2008 at 10:42 am

International students at my university always make Halloweenparty one week after Halloween. Why? Because al the crap is on 80% discount sale – very czech thinking I guess;)
My boyfriend and me wanted to go as Mikulas and Cert, but in walmart we couldn’t find a proper cotton for Mikulas’s beard, so I switched to a boring witch instead (only 0.75 for a broom and 0.25 for a witch hair ;))

Tanja November 9, 2008 at 11:01 pm

That is the classic Czech way – wait until AFTER the holiday is over and then celebrate, when everything costs 1/2 the price..I am not sure if that is the most dignified way though ;)

Jana November 10, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Well of course this only works with Halloween because nobody would want to miss Christmas at the real time or Thanksgiving. And offcourse, Easter Monday, the Czech men will never miss the right time ; )

Kimmie November 14, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Tanja, what a cutie you have!!! I always celebrated Halloween as a child. I never knew the true reason for it. I just liked the CANDY. Since, my parents with held it from me all year. I had great fun with my lil’ ones Monika and Mikulas this year. I made spider customes this year for them and we had a lil’ halloween party here in Ostrava. They had a great time!! Thanks for the cute pic!!

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