As the whole world loves Czech beer, it is hardly surprising that people have dedicated several national feast days to this beverage. What are the most famous ones?
What do the Irish say when you ask them about their biggest celebration? Definitely ‘Lá 'le Pádraig!’ Don’t recognise the name? But surely you've heard of Saint Patrick's Day. This is celebrated in Ireland, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and North America, with people taking to the streets each year on March 17th to rejoice, dance and, above all, drink good beer. What are they actually celebrating? According to one legend, St Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland; another says he drove all the snakes out of the country. Whatever the real origin may be, there are now lavish parades, theatrical performances and dances in his honour all over the world. Of course, the entertainment must be accompanied by beer, preferably green – the colour that symbolises Saint Patrick’s Day.
International Beer Day is a moving occasion that falls on the first Friday in August. It was first celebrated in the USA, before spreading across the entire world. We should do three things on this day:
Prince Wenceslas plays an important role in Czech history and is regarded as the patron saint of the country. His statue is easy to recognise: St Wenceslas is typically depicted in armour – with a sword and shield. His monument can be found on Wenceslas Square and his relics are held in Stará Boleslav, the site of his murder on 28 September 935. But did you know that he is also the patron saint of brewers and Czech beer? He was named the country’s patron saint by Charles IV in 1357. In his honour, we enjoy beer specials from small and large breweries in Czech pubs every year at the end of September.
Germans celebrate in a big way, and if you like beer, head to Munich at the end of September and in early October for the Oktoberfest. This festival usually lasts 16 days, starting on a Saturday and ending on the first Sunday in October. The origin of this annual festival dates back to 1810 and the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The celebrations were so popular that they have been preserved to this day. Every year, six million people attend the Oktoberfest, during which 30% of the annual production of Bavarian breweries is consumed.
Did reading this article make you thirsty for a pint of delicious beer? Don't worry – you don't have to wait for the next beer festival. Enjoy a beer at any time of the year. You can drink as much as you like at the Original Beer Spa Prague and you can even bathe in it.