Masopust is the traditional Czech Shrovetide or Carnival celebration, and a Masopust festivals take place in Prague, Cesky Krumlov
, and elsewhere in the Czech Republic during this pre-Lenten period. Masopust is Czech for “meat fast” or “farewell to meat.” It is a time for feasting and revelry– Prague's Bohemian Carnevale
coincides with Masopust.
Masopust, like other carnival-related festivals, has a long history associated originally with pagan festivities, and later, Christian ones. Saying goodbye to winter, celebrating fertility and spring, and preparing for Lent are some of the themes that play out in the annual Masopust festival.
Features of Masopust
Masopust is a time for dressing up in costume and wearing masks. Masked character processions may go from house to house. Dance and song, feasting and drinking, noise making and revelry are a part of the festivities.
Masopust Hog Feast – Zabijacka
Fat Thursday is traditionally celebrated with a Zabijacka, or hog feast. Pork and sauerkraut are eaten on this day, along with generous quantities of drink. Public hog feasts are held in Prague for visitors to attend, like the one hosted by the InterContinental Hotel in Josefov.
Masopust in Prague
Zizkovsky Masopust - Carnival held in Prague's Zizkov District - is a popular attraction for both locals and tourists and draws larger crowds every year. Look for Zizkovsky Masopust to begin a week before Ash Wednesday and continue with parades, parties, and other events.