Festival Forecast: Czech Republic

Anniversary of Jan Palach's Death
Prague : January 19
Observe the death of the student who set himself on fire in 1969 in Wenceslas Square as a protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. He died and became a symbol of dissidents everywhere making his commemoration of interest to all dissidents and rabble-rousers alike.

Witches' Night
Prague : April 30
This celebration of all that is pastoral is meant to bring good luck for the planting season. The Czech Republic's version of Halloween mixed with May Day, it's an excuse to light bonfires and throw effigies of old hags on flames. Go to Petrin Hill to check it. Prague.tv has more information on this annual tradition.

Karlovy Vary Blessing of the Waters
Prague : First Week of May
At one of Europe's oldest and best-known spas, the season starts with a coronation, a reenactment of the town's founding and is surrounded with medieval activity.

Slavnost Petiliste Ruze
Prague : Third Weekend in June
The Festival of the Five-Petaled Rose is another time in Prague when folks parade in the streets in Renaissance costumes. Post-parade, the streets become stage space for music and plays. Think people dressed up as pieces of a chess board.

Hip Hop Kemp
Eastern Bohemia : mid-August
Hip Hop enthusiasts won't want to miss this unique 3-day gathering of mostly Czech artists. Visit the event's official website to learn more.