Pretty podzim: How to welcome autumn in the Czech Republic

From Czech traditions to tips for foliage walks and where to pick pumpkins and apples and sip harvest wine, fall into the new season.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff
Published on 22.09.2021 13:10 (updated on 23.09.2021)

Attention lovers of all things pumpkin spice: Today marks the autumn equinox, with astronomical summer ending and autumn set to begin.

According to Czech meteorologists, at 9:21 pm Central European Summer Time, the Sun enters the sign of Libra, where the center of the Sun is above the Earth's equator, illuminating both hemispheres evenly and making the day as long as the night. The days will continue to shorten until the winter solstice Dec. 21.

The autumn season (podzim) has much to offer in the Czech Republic. One unique tradition is that of the lantern parade (lampionový průvod), illuminated celebrations that mark autumn festivals in schools throughout October and November, St. Martin’s Day on November 11, and on the Day of the Establishment of Czechoslovakia on October 28.

The perennial autumn favorite is the pumpkin (dýně) patch. Dýňová Farma BYKOŠ recently announced the opening of its autumn season from Sept. 11. It will be open every weekend through the end of Oct. from 10 am to 5 pm.

Here you can take home a pumpkin for carving or decorating purposes and enjoy pumpkin-flavored goodies like pumpkin soup, pumpkin baked goods, and mulled wine.

Guide to autumn in the Czech Republic

Several other opportunities for picking pumpkins, apples (jablko), and tasting cider can be found here.

In Prague, the Botanical Garden has just launched a new autumn harvest exhibition featuring colorful arrangements of seasonal fruit, vegetables, and flowers.

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"Visitors to our exhibits can be inspired by decorations made from living, cut and dried plants and fruits," said Botanical Garden director Bohumil Černý.

The garden opens its annual pumpkin festival on Oct. 15

The garden is also home to avineyard (vinice) that's open for tours. Many of Prague’s vineyards host harvest festivals (vinobraní) this time of year where you can sip the beloved autumn young wine burčák.

Vinobraní na náplavce on Sept. 24–25 at the waterfront promenade at Náplavka promises burčák as well as Moravian and international wine from mostly small producers.

Svatováclavské vinobraní takes place Sept. 25–26 at the oldest Czech vineyard at Villa Richter, next to Prague Castle. Domestic wine and burčák are featured.

The main event for autumn is of course fall leaves (listy). Early October (Říjen) is the best time for relishing the coppers and golds of the Czech autumn.

Petřín, Letná, Divoká Šárka, and Stromovka parks will not disappoint those seeking an eyeful of fall foliage, but don't overlook Prague's breathtaking Dendrological Garden or the nearby Průhonice Park with its stunning autumn views from the castle's Gloriette.

Czechs words associated with autumn

  • Burčák (young wine)
  • Jablko (apple)
  • Lampionový průvod (lantern parade)
  • Podzim (autumn)
  • Sad (orchard)
  • Vinobraní (harvest festival)
  • Dýně (pumpkin)
  • Říjen (October)
  • Vinice (vineyard)
  • Listy (leaves)
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