Czech holiday calendar 2021: four state holidays fall on the weekend

Christmas is a particular disappointment, with just one day off out of three and another strikeout on Jan. 1, 2022

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 31.12.2020 15:14 (updated on 03.01.2021)

The Czech holiday calendar for 2021 isn’t very favorable. Unlike in many other countries, state holidays that fall on the weekend aren’t moved to the closest Monday, so they are simply lost.

Out of 13 state holidays, four fall on the weekend. Of the remaining ones, there is one three-day weekend right at the start of the year with Jan. 1 on a Friday. There are two four-day weekends: Good Friday to Easter Monday on April 2–8, and in July 3–6 with Cyril and Methodius Day and Jan Hus Day falling on a Monday and Tuesday.

Related to Easter, but not a state holiday, is Masopust, the day before the start of Lent. It falls on Tuesday, Feb. 16. This is known as Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras or Carneval in other countries,

The biggest disappointment of the year is Christmas, with just Dec. 24 falling on a Friday, and the next two days on the weekend. Adding insult to injury, New Year’s Day 2022 falls on a Saturday, adding up to a total of one extra day off out of four in the year-end holiday season.

There are no state holidays off between the start of April and start of July, as both May Day (May 1) and Liberation from Fascism Day (May 8) fall on Saturdays.

Many people might be tempted to take off a day on Sept. 27 to create a four-day weekend by bridging to Tuesday, Sept. 28, which is Czech Statehood Day.

Wenceslas Square on October 28, 1918 / public domain
Wenceslas Square on October 28, 1918. (public domain)

Another long weekend can be created by taking off Friday, Oct. 29, which will bridge Establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic, which falls on Thursday, Oct. 28, to the weekend.

Freedom and Democracy Day, on Nov. 17, falls on a Wednesday. This creates and awkward week of two day of work, a day off, and two days back.

There are no big anniversaries in 2021, so no big public celebrations have been announced.

At 13 state holidays, the Czech Republic is around average. India and Colombia have 18, while Thailand, Lebanon, and South Korea have 16. The least is in Mexico with seven, followed by the Netherlands, UK, and Hungary with eight days.

The last state holiday to be added was Good Friday, which became a day off starting in 2016.

2020 was the first year that Aug. 21 was legally recognized as the Day of Memory of the Victims of the 1968 Invasion and Subsequent Occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact Troops. It is not a state holiday, though. It was designated as an “important day” on the Czech calendar but public offices remain open and people have to go to work. There are 14 other important days in the Czech calendar that are not days off.

Holidays in 2021

Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day (Friday)*
April 2 – Good Friday (Friday)
April 5 – Easter Monday (Monday)*
May 1 – May Day (Saturday)
May 8 – Liberation from Fascism (Saturday)*
July 5 – Cyril and Methodius Day (Monday)
July 6 – Jan Hus Day (Tuesday)
Sept. 28 – Czech Statehood Day (Tuesday)*
Oct. 28 – Establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic (Thursday)*
Nov. 17 – Freedom and Democracy Day (Wednesday)
Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve (Friday) **
Dec. 25 – First Christmas Day (Saturday)*
Dec. 26 – Second Christmas Day (Sunday)*
*stores closed by law
**on December 24 stores close at noon

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