All Souls’ Day costs reach deathly new heights in Czechia

Due to rising flower and candle prices, Nov. 2 will set back Czechs far more than last year. However, per person, Halloween remains more expensive. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 30.10.2023 11:49:00 (updated on 30.10.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

All Souls' Day celebrations in Czechia, taking place on Thursday, Nov. 2, are expected this year to be the most expensive in Czech history due to high inflation and rising costs across international supply chains, writes economist Lukáš Kovanda

The religious celebration, which honors the dead, remains the fourth-most economically important (and beneficial) holiday for sellers in the Czech Republic, behind Christmas, New Year's Eve, and Easter. 

Traditionally, Czech citizens spend an average of around CZK 200 per person purchasing candles, chrysanthemums, and other ceremonial offerings, totaling approximately CZK 1.4 billion per year.

Flower prices shooting up

Kovanda projects that funeral flowers have increased in price by 10 to 15 percent compared to 2022. A key supplier, the Netherlands, has in the past 12 months seen higher greenhouse heating bills as natural-gas costs surge, leading to a knock-on effect in prices. Traditionally, imported cut chrysanthemums, which are sold for a total of about CZK 210 million annually, are the most popular floral tribute. 

Transportation from flower exporters such as Ecuador and Kenya has similarly risen with pricier energy and fuel globally. Moreover, artificial flowers are forecast to be around 10 percent costlier this year following last year's production disruptions in China, which caused import prices to increase. 

Candle expenses are also anticipated to climb because their paraffin wax requires oil distillation – a process that has become more expensive. Due to the still relatively high prices of oil and brown coal, candles have also jumped in price this year.

Far fewer people celebrate Halloween

While some spend thousands of crowns on the celebration, about 20 percent of Czechs forgo commemorating it altogether. Around eight times more people celebrate All Souls’ Day than Halloween in Czechia, but the latter sees more expenditure per person.

Younger generations more commonly celebrate Halloween instead, with estimated per-person outlays of CZK 500 to CZK 1,000 on accessories for the Oct. 31 celebration. Kovanda notably points out that Halloween is “not much of a holiday for the lower-income and lower-middle classes” in the country, perhaps explaining its relative lack of popularity.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more