Services > Places to visit > Český Krumlov > Culture, events



náměstí Svornosti 2
38101 Český Krumlov
Contact: Infocentrum Český Krumlov

Telephone: +420 380 704 622


Location: Český Krumlov
Type: Culture, events; Highlights

The fairytale ambience of the medieval town combines with the magic of May Day Eve to set the stage for the celebration of the Month of Love. During the Magical Krumlov you can enjoy a whirl of witches, the building of a maypole, live music, and a lantern procession.


Retrospect to 2019


Magical Krumlov

The month of May has been bound with the folk celebrations of spring since the 13th century.

The oldest written reference to the erection of a Maypole comes from 1422 when a boy was rewarded for a successful erection of a Maypole with the betrothal to his beloved girl. The marriage was deemed legal by an ecclesiastical court held on the Prague castle on the basis of the Maypole erection and the mutual consent to marriage and wedding was celebrated on 23 June 1422. The Maypole has been erected across Czech towns and villages on the traditional date of 30 April. The top of Maypole is decorated by strips of coloured paper or fabric and a decorative wreath is hung on top. It is important to protect the Maypole from mischievous attacks by the boys from neighbour villages. They always strive to either topple the Maypole or at least cut the top off and bring it back to their village. A toppled or stolen Maypole is a great shame for the villages.

Some regions had a habit of marking the pavements of love on the morning of 1st May. These pavements made from sand, lime, wood shavings, grits or corn stalks linked the houses or loved-up couples. On this day the boys walked around the village with the Maypole and the girls gave them presents. Later that day, everyone got together on the central square or in the pub and the May celebrations could begin. Girls could also take part in organizing the dancing feasts. They walked around the village with a little Maypole - a small tree on a wooden plate on which neighbours placed coins. Coins were later used to pay the musicians, pay for dancing hall rental and for refreshments. This dancing feast was called Little Wreath because of a green wreath given by the girls to the boys on arrival. Boys were supposed to place the wreath above the door. According to folk tales, all girls must be kissed on the First of May or else they wither away. It is recommended to kiss bellow a tree in bloom and an apple tree is the best choice.

Burning of the witches (also known as the Midsummer Night or the Night of Walpurga) takes place on the night from 30 April to 1 May. This is a very ancient folk feast celebrating fertility and maintained till the present day. On this night people meet by lit fires and celebrate the arrival of spring. People have traditionally believed that this is the night when witches congregate for a witch gathering. Witches used to cover their bodies with magical potions which rendered their bodies flyable on brooms. Brooms were made from ash wood and from willow and birch branches. Fires were lit on elevated spots across the countryside as a protection against witches and "burning of the witches" evolved from this: young men were setting brooms alight and throwing them in the air in order to see witches flying in the air. Some believed this was a way to strike a witch to the ground. Ashes from these fires were supposed to have special powers and help improve the harvest. Animals were walked over the cooled-down ashes and people jumped over the fire in order to maintain youth and fertility.

1st May is also known as Labour Day. This international holiday has been celebrated since 1890 when it was established by the IInd International to commemorate the strike of American workers in Chicago on 1 May 1886. It has been celebrated in Bohemia in 1890 for the first time.

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Infocentrum Český Krumlov
náměstí Svornosti 2
381 01 Český Krumlov
tel.: +420 380 704 622

Location on the map | Google Street View
GPS: 48°48'38.91" 14°18'55.44"