St. Wenceslas Day in Czech Republic in 2021

St. Wenceslas Day in Czech Republic in 2021
Wenceslas Square at night, Prague Image by Davis Staedtler , via Flickr

  How long until St. Wenceslas Day?
St. Wenceslas Day
  Dates of St. Wenceslas Day in Czech Republic
2023 Czech Republic Thu, Sep 28 National Holiday
2022 Czech Republic Wed, Sep 28 National Holiday
2021 Czech Republic Tue, Sep 28 National Holiday
2020 Czech Republic Mon, Sep 28 National Holiday
2019 Czech Republic Sat, Sep 28 National Holiday

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

  Local name
Den české státnosti

When is St. Wenceslas day?

This holiday is always celebrated on September 28th.

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 September 28th 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.

Although the feast day of the Czech patron saint has long been an important day for Czech Roman Catholics, St. Wenceslas Day only became a national holiday in the year 2000 - "the Day of Czech Statehood" - upon the initiative of the Christian Democratic Party. 

As a footnote, and a warning against fratricide, it was Boleslav who founded the independent Czech state, yet his martyred brother has the Day of Czech Statehood celebrated on his feast day.

On this day, the skull of St. Wenceslas is brought from Prague by the Arch Bishop of Prague and paraded through the town of his murder, Stará Boleslav.

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