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Jimena: Masopust

Blog PostsAuthor: Jimena Mendoza

The traditional Slavic carnival of Masopust in the Czech Republic, is celebrated before Easter and Ash Wednesday, marking the winter season with parades that begin on January 31 with a funny processions of masks, costumes, dances in the streets, jugglers and endless banquets mainly of pork, marking the beginning of Lent. Masopust in Czech literally means “meat-diet” but is used as a synonym for carnival.

This celebration is inscribed on the UNESCO list for its antiquity, since it was remote to the thirteenth century and probably followed the ancient worship of the wine god “Bacchus”. This tradition is carried out in different towns of the Czech Republic, such as: Český Krumlov, in the Hlinecko region of Eastern Bohemia, as well as in the Czech capital, in Roztoky one of the suburbs of the city where the Bohemian Carnevale Praha comes with the refined Valentín. Curiously, these traditional parades were intended to ensure happiness and offspring.

All the masks in the parade had their task with pagan symbols such as the blessed straw for women who wanted to have children; the ceremonial dances of young people called “bobkovníci” or “turci” otherwise corn would not grow.

In the same processions, special attention is given to dancing, called “na len” or “žabská”. This delirious celebration will extend its festivities on subsequent weekends until mid-February.