1st of May is celebrated as Love day in Prague known as “Svátek zamilovaných”.
It has been a Czech tradition for centuries and it all started back to the beginning of the 19th century during the time when the great Czech Romantic poet Karel Hynek Macha lived and composed Máj (in english May) his best work.
This epic poem is a Czech classic and is about a tragic love between two young people. Every Czech knows first few lines of this poem. It goes like this:
“It was late evening, on the first of May,
The eve of May was the time of love.
The turtle-dove´s voice called to love,
Where rich and sweet pinewoods lay.”
There is a widely spread custom of kissing your love under a blooming cherry tree or birch. The tradition says that on the 1st of May a girl should be kissed under a cherry blossom so she will stay beautiful all year round.
Lovers would go up to Petřín Hill high above the city on the 1st of May and gather with flowers in their hands around Mácha’s sculpture and kiss in front of the “poet of love” so their love will be as strong as the stone his statue is made from.
Happy 1st day of May!