Come and be part of one of the most joyful and artistic festivals in the world. Colorful parades, performances and exhibitions of artistic skills with lots of people gathered to celebrate one of the best carnivals worldwide.
Carnevale Praha, or the Prague Carnival, is held in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. It is one of the most outstanding festivals in the region, and it’s held every year before Ash Wednesday.
Let’s find out everything about this carnival, how it’s celebrated, what makes it stand out, dates, tips, and other important information that will make this festival a must-see in your travel plans.
History of the Prague Carnival
According to what is known about this carnival, it goes all the way back to pagan traditions, meaning that it is outside Christian beliefs and practices. It is believed that this ceremony was part of the worship rituals for the bull deity, Apis, and that it came from Egypt and Sumer, where it was a celebration of fertility and excess.
During the Middle Age, the Christians of the time decided to adapt this ancient celebration into their customs. Thus, since the days before Ash Wednesday would be reserved for pleasure, enjoyment, and all kinds of excesses both in food and drinks, plus the fertility part… (You surely know where this is heading…)
Another of the typical Middle Age activities was the celebrations of weddings and slaughtering pigs, which were typical pagan traditions. However, the carnival we know today goes far beyond all that. Instead of orgies and animal sacrifices, we get parades, celebrations, pig races, stage designs, artistic performances of all kinds and much more.
What is the Prague Carnival?
At first, it was strictly a pagan festival, where deities outside of Christianity were worshipped in a lavish celebration filled with foods and drinks.
Today, the holiday transcended all that to become one of the most incredible shows of the artistic world. Museums, theaters, and public spaces are reserved for most of the activities that take place.
This carnival is currently celebrated across different regions of the Czech Republic. However, Prague was the original host of this celebration and where very exciting events worth witnessing are held.
Carnival organizers, tourists and anyone who wants to experience the Prague Carnival can join. The idea is to come together in solidarity, joy and empathy while celebrating creativity and art.
Where is the Prague Carnival held?
While it’s clear that the main place is the city of Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, there are also other places where the festival is celebrated.
The Prague Carnival, which happens right before Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent, is also held in Mokropsy, Ceský Krumlov and Zadní Třebaň. In addition, the celebrations are adapted to the traits and customs of each city.
However, whether you’re only traveling to Prague or planning a broader experience when attending this carnival, you are more than welcome to join the celebrations in the different cities where it takes place. Of course, it all depends on the traveler and the kind of trip.
Book your Hotel and Flight for the Prague Carnival
When is the Prague Carnival happening?
Not much is known regarding the celebration of the carnival for next year. This is obviously due to the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19, which is still high in almost all countries in the world.
Therefore, to know more about the development and participation of this carnival for 2022, we will need to wait for information about the planning and how it will be held.
How is the Prague Carnival celebrated?
As above mentioned, this carnival is really special for the Czech Republic in general. It is an opportunity to enjoy and have fun before Lent season starts with Ash Wednesday.
This type of festival involves many expressive arts events, including theaters and presentations, dances, comedic performances, and many colorful and emotional parades in which people can just stay as spectators or become participants.
Take part in the activities
Here, everyone is welcome. Anyone who wants to participate in an event or activity will be well received and play a fundamental role. Sharing and enjoying each other’s skills is one of the things that make this carnival so special.
Like having fun? Want to experience the carnival firsthand and have an unforgettable trip? The Prague Carnival is an experience like no other. Not only will you get to see everything that the carnival has in store for you, but you are also invited to take part in the activities and events.
One of the most important activities is the special parades where hundreds of people in costumes march through the streets. The people of Prague and anyone else who want to join the parade get to show their special costumes for the day.
Each costume has personal artistic characteristics that seek to highlight the real meaning of carnival, which is the spirit of joy. You will see incredibly colorful and quirky costumes, so have your camera ready to take as many photos as you can of this carnival.
Dances and festivities
Being such a joyful and exciting carnival, you really won’t be able to say no to activities like parties with drinks, food and dances. Spectators also get a chance to participate and enjoy the music accompanied by the locals, who are accustomed to the typical wildness of the festival.
Another activity is the royal dance in the Clam-Gallas Palace, where you can demonstrate your skills in the typical Baroque dance. Dare to try? This event will take you to a world full of fantasy.
Remember, you will need to be physically prepared for it, so make sure you stay hydrated to enjoy the exciting dances and contests, meet new people from the country as well as other tourists, and live this celebration of joy to its fullest.
This could not be missing from the list, and chances are you will get lost between all the presentations and artistic performances in the Prague Carnival.
Museums, art galleries, theaters and even the streets are used everywhere in Prague for these artistic shows. Therefore, you can have a lot of fun by checking the many performances throughout the city.
Pictures? Better yet! Get your video cameras ready as this experience will simply be unforgettable. Many will want to know everything about this festival, and there’s no better way to show them this incredible celebration than with a video, so that others get to live it too!
Yes, that’s right. Looking to learn more about the local customs? Or maybe interested in knowing the skills required to make this carnival a success? No problem.
In the Prague Carnival you can find interesting workshops on local customs and culture. Learn how to design eye-catching costumes? You got it. How to dance or act? Of course! Ever taken an interest in juggling? Well, you can start now and become an expert.
All this and more await you in the Prague Carnival. Amazing, right? Wait no more and make this one of your must-see destinations for future trips.
Learn about Baroque art and culture
There are special activities dedicated to Baroque art and culture that have been designed by experts specialized in the Baroque period, who will teach you so much more about it.
Are you a history lover? These activities are perfect for you. Here you can learn about customs, art, and philosophy of the Baroque period, so if you appreciate this artistic style, the Prague Carnival is a festival that you’ll love from start to finish.
Enjoy Prague cuisine
Discover all about the culinary arts of Prague, and not only during the parades, but also in specially designed trips to famous restaurants across the city.
Taste the traditional dishes and delight the palate while exploring a culture that has centuries of history.
Tips and advice for the Prague Carnival
- This carnival takes place during winter in Prague. Therefore, the weather may be very cool or cold. It is recommended to wear warm clothing, especially if you are not used to cold weather.
- Staying hydrated is also important, so don’t forget to bring water or some refreshing juice with you. If you do not have your own water, don’t worry; there are many places in the city where you can buy.
- Stay warm, but also try to wear comfortable clothes, especially if you’re planning to attend any carnival activity. When dancing, you may need clothes that allow you to move freely, especially footwear.
- If you want to film the experience, don’t forget to bring your camera. Record the entire experience from start to finish and share this incredible festival with everyone else.
- Lastly, to really say that you went to the Prague Carnival, lose that shyness and take part in as many activities as possible. Live this experience to the fullest, especially if you are a foreigner to the Czech Republic. The locals get to enjoy this festival every year, but for you it might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so make the most of it!