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St. Wenceslas Day

Czech Republic National Holiday in the Czech Republic

Czech Republic

When is St. Wenceslas day?

Dates of St Wenceslas Day?
Year Day Date
2018 Friday September 28th
2017 Thursday September 28th
2016 Wednesday September 28th
2015 Monday September 28th
2014 Sunday September 28th
2013 Saturday September 28th

This holiday is always celebrated on 28 September.

It is the feast day of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia, and commemorates his death in 935.

Also known as 'Czech Statehood day', it is a national holiday in the Czech Republic and has been a public holiday since 2000.

History of St. Wenceslas day

This is the same Good King Wenceslas, who is mentioned in a popular carol written in 1853 about St. Stephens Day.

Wenceslas was born near Prague in 907 and was the son of the Duke of Bohemia. His father died in 921 and Wenceslas ruled from 922, when he was 15 years old. Raised as a Christian, primarily by his grandmother, Ludmila who had been baptised by the Greek missionaries Cyril and Methodius who brought Christianity to the region.

The reign of Wenceslas is marked by his support of the church, his aim to unify Bohemia and making peace with Germany.

These policies created enemies within his court and even his family. His brother Boleslav was one of those who plotted against him. Boleslav invited Wenceslas to a church consecration. On the morning of 28 September 935, on his way to the mass, Wenceslas was attacked by Boleslav and was killed by supporters of his brother.

Having suffered a martyr's death, Wenceslas was immediately considered a saint. This lead to a cult of veneration with several biographies being written and miracles attributed to him. He was even posthumously made a king by the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I which is why the carol refers to him as a king when in life he was a duke.

After Wenceslas's death, Boleslav assumed power and reigned for almost fifty years. Later in life, Boleslav clearly felt remorse or guilt for his actions and in 972 he had the first church devoted to Saint Wenceslas built in Prague.


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