Burning of the witches (Pálení čarodějnic)
The night between April 30th and May 1st is referred to by many as Saint Walpurgis Night. Saint Walpurga was an abbess who fought pestis, rabies, and other diseases, but she is better known for her battles against witchcraft. She was canonized on May 1st in 870, and that is the reason for this celebration on April 30th.
There are celebrations and commemorations of Saint Walpurga in several countries, but the one in Czech Republic and Prague is one of the most visible celebrations. On this evening, it is normal to make bonfires on hills all around the country. On the top of the bonfire, you can find sometimes find a puppet or a witch model that is burnt on the fire. This is once again to remember the battle against witches. Some even say that when dark smoke comes up from the fire, it is the witches leaving the area.
Honestly, few people take any of this seriously. As a result, this is mostly a celebration and a night out for young people. One of the most popular places to enjoy this event is at the Petrin Hill in Prague, near the Petrin Lookout Tower.
After a good night’s sleep and getting rid of the witches on April 30th, do not forget that May 1st is Love Day in Prague!