Where to burn witches on April 30? Prague's best čarodějnice bonfires

Citywide bonfires in Prague herald the end of winter and the arrival of spring; here's where to celebrate with sausage and beer in hand!

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 29.04.2024 12:17:00 (updated on 30.04.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Called čarodějnice, pálení čarodějnic (Burning of Witches), and Filipojakubská noc (Philip and Jacob’s Night) in Czech, and Walpurgisnacht – for the eve of the feast of Saint Walpurga – in German, the night of April 30 brings the annual witch-burning festivities that symbolize the end of winter around the world.

Czech tradition sees roaring fires and towering effigies with families gathering to roast sausages called špekáček, a fixture at festive bonfires containing pork and beef spiked with špek (pork fat) throughout.

Festivities start in the afternoon with activities for kids and build up to the main event, the lighting of the straw effigy of the witch. Live music combined with food stalls maximizes the merriment for an event that’s ablaze with family-friendly appeal.

Fire ban is in effect for Prague

The holiday typically comes with another tradition: weather warnings; this year is no exception. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute issued a fire warning on Monday morning due to forecast gusting wind. Prague has now banned making fires in risky areas until Thursday, May 2 (rain is expected by Friday). Areas considered high-risk are those near gardens, parks, and forests. However, according to city officials, exceptions have been made for organized events with fire safety measures in place.

Whether the bonfires are actually blazing this year or not, these are some of Prague’s most festive celebrations on April 30, 2024, with all offering plenty of food, drink, and merriment to banish the cruel winter at last.

Čarodějnice Ladronka in 2023.
Čarodějnice Ladronka in 2023.

Čarodějnice Ladronka

Prague’s biggest annual celebration convenes at Ladronka Park in Prague 6. This year, the main stage hosts top Czech acts, including UDG and Maxim Turbulenc, Jakub Ondra, and the wizardry of magician Mr. Kravata.

A carnivalesque atmosphere of fun activities, sports, and food and beer vendors makes this one of the city’s most popular annual witch-bonfire events. Festivities kick off at 1 p.m.; the bonfire starts at 7:30 p.m. The full program is here.

Břevnov Čarodějnice

The Břevnov business association organizes this annual event, which features some twenty stalls comprising farmers’ and artisans’ markets and a wide variety of gourmet food and microbrews. Competitions and live music take place throughout the day at scenic Břevnov Monastery beginning at 2 p.m.; witch burning is at 7 p.m. The full program is here.

Žluté lázně Čarodějnice

Žluté lázně in Prague’s Podolí will put on a Wizard’s Day event for the whole family. The event offers a diverse program with activities and competitions for children, fairground attractions, performances, refreshments, food, and drinks. Festivities continue into the evening with a bonfire and DJ after-party. The event starts at 2 p.m.; the bonfire begins at 6:30 p.m. The full program is here.

Malostranské čarodějnice

Perhaps the most scenic of the witch-burning events, the annual Malostranské čarodějnice event sees a parade through Prague’s most historic locations (including Charles Bridge) culminate in live performances, refreshment stalls, and a bouncy castle and wooden carousel in Kampa Park.

The procession of witches from Malostranské náměstí to Kampa Park begins at 6 p.m., followed by the burning of witches at around 7 p.m. The Lovesong Orchestra provides musical entertainment this year. The full program is here.

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