On which public holidays do shops remain open in the Czech Republic?

This coming week sees a pair of public holidays kick off summer; will you still be able to stock up on picnic supplies?

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 02.07.2022 15:04:00 (updated on 04.07.2022) Reading time: 1 minute

The coming week brings two national holidays in the Czech Republic: Tuesday, July 5 is Cyril and Methodius Day and Wednesday, July 6, is Jan Hus Day. In Czechia, public holidays typically mean a day off work as well as shop closures.

Those who forget last-minute items for picnics and barbecues are in luck: these days are not on the list of public holidays on which the law dictates shops must close.

Most large retail chains including Globus, Kaufland, and Lidl will remain open on these public holidays within their standard hours. Representatives say that July 5 and 6 shopping traffic is usually comparable to working days. 

Since 2016, large stores over 200 square meters must remain closed on New Year's Day, Easter Monday, May 8, Sept. 28, Oct. 28, and Dec. 25 and 26. Most must also close at noon on Dec. 24, the day most Czechs celebrate Christmas.

Holidays when shops remain open:

  • Good Friday
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • July 5: Cyril and Methodius Day
  • July 6: Jan Hus Day
  • November 17: Day of the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy
  • December 24: Christmas Day

While stores will remain open, Czech retailers say they expect quieter traffic for the July holidays but expect an onslaught in the days following due to the beginning of the school holidays.

Both holidays have religious roots. Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Greek brothers who brought Eastern Orthodox Christianity to Moravia, the eastern half of the Czech Republic, in 863 AD. The region actually already had Roman Catholicism, but the ruler at the time, Prince Rastislav of Great Moravia, wanted to turn to the east for political reasons.

The following day, July 6, commemorates when Catholic priest, reformer, and philosopher Jan Hus was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1415 in Konstanz, now part of Germany. After his execution, his ashes were thrown in the Rhine River to prevent them from becoming relics for his followers.

Today Saints Cyril and Methodius Day and Jan Hus Day represent the beginning of summer in the Czech lands.

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