Sláinte! Virtual craic in Prague means food, music, and Petřín in green

St. Patrick's Day events in the Czech Republic have moved online again this year; here's your guide to celebrating from home.

Tom Lane

Written by Tom Lane Published on 15.03.2021 16:16:00 (updated on 15.03.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

A parade in Prague or an evening at one of the many Irish pubs in the city sadly isn't possible this year with the coronavirus restrictions meaning St Patrick's Day will, for the second year in a row, be celebrated in lockdown conditions.

While gatherings aren't permitted, it is expected that some landmarks across the city will be turning green to mark the occasion, with the Petřín Tower and Dancing House lighting up previously as part of the celebrations. The tower is confirmed to be turning green in what is known as "greening", the Irish embassy is also gifting an Irish Oak tree which will be planted in Petřín park.

Celebrations that will be taking place despite restrictions this week, include a virtual Irish dinner, with music, a comedian and Irish dancing, as well as a message to expats from An Taoiseach (the Irish Prime Minister),

The Czech Irish Business and Cultural Association will be putting on a "DIY virtual dinner" where people can eat alongside other expats via a video call. They are encouraging those interested to send photos to them on Facebook.

Paul Dubsky from the Association has been here since 1992.

"The Czech Irish Business and Cultural Association will be doing a DIY St Patrick's Day Dinner. Under normal circumstances, for the last 20+ years, we've had our big event in places like the Intercontinental Hotel or more recently in Grand Hotel Bohemia where we have anything from 100 to 300 guests and we'd bring in Irish bands, comedians, dancers and we'd traditionally also have a charity auction with the monies raised going to charities in the Czech Republic.

"This year it is going to be a little bit creative, we're asking everybody to prepare an Irish meal themselves based on what they can source locally or if they did it in time, order online from an Irish shop. There are actually several retailers in the Czech Republic that sell Irish foodstuffs." 

It is the second year that the Czech Republic will be in a state of lockdown on St Patrick's Day with March 2020 seeing the coronavirus take hold of the country. It means that the usual celebrations to mark the occasion will have to be altered once again.

"We didn't host St Patrick's Day last year, I think the lockdown took place three days before we were supposed to host the event, so we were very unlucky," continued Dubsky. "Last year it was such a shock to the system, we had to pull the plug literally days before the event. Nobody knew what was happening, we were all buying toilet paper, so we were all shellshocked and we didn't do anything for St Patrick's Day in the end at all last year.

"This year we had time to prep and once again we're doing things a bit differently to everybody else. We know people are zoomed out. Nobody wants to have another official call with a powerpoint presentation which is why the DIY dinner and the photos and the comedian and music god knows if it will work, when working with technology there is always something that can go wrong, but if it does we'll laugh about it!"

The Irish Ambassador will be part of the call with the Irish Prime Minister on the day itself. Cliona Manahan is the Ambassador of Ireland to the Czech Republic and Ukraine. She wrote a letter to expats living in the Czech Republic that was sent out via email and will be published on the embassy social media pages.

"On behalf of the President of Ireland, government and people, I would like to extend our St. Patrick’s Day wishes to you and your families.  At the Embassy, we are aware that our National Day 2021 coincides with the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on each of you, and our people all over the world. We wish each of you health and safety during these difficult times," she said.

She continued: "This year, our National Day is being celebrated online here in the Czech Republic and across the globe. St Patrick’s Day is a unique opportunity to renew our bonds of friendship around the world, underlining our heritage, history, and widespread diaspora."

While you might not be able to go to a parade or a pub and meet with others in person this St. Patrick's Day, there is still plenty of opportunities to have a good craic! Sláinte!

Events to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the Czech Republic

  • A 30 minute virtual St Patrick’s Day reception with special messages from An Taoiseach and the Irish Ambassador, followed by a selection of Irish cultural treats streaming on the website. This will be on March 17 from 4 p.m.
  • Petřín Tower will be Green from 5 p.m. on March 17
  • Czech-Irish Business and Culture Association along with Prague Hibernians GAA will be hosting a DIY virtual dinner on March 17. This will take place from 8 p.m. You can register on the CIBCA website.
  • The Irish Embassy will be taking a tour of Irish music from Central Europe and sample some of the musical talents in Poland, Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, and Austria. This will be on March 19. Registration is free via Eventbrite.
  • Veronika the Cook and Baker, will be holding a special Irish food celebration this week. They were serving a range of Irish dishes over the weekend of March 12-14, but have extended it for the following week. You can see more information on their Facebook page.

A number of Irish food items can be purchased at stores across the Czech Republic such as Irish lamb, cheese, whiskey, and Baileys. The CIBCA has put together a good list of Irish e-shops that ship internationally as well as local purveyors of all things Irish. You can also order food and drink from Irish pubs via food delivery apps. Beckett's Irish gastropub and Merlin Irish pub are available via Wolt where you can order a range of dishes. If you are looking mainly to drink options M0ST Nápoje / Bever on Dame Jidlo sells both Magners Irish Cider and Guinness.

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