Elements of folklore exist throughout Czech life and especially in the eastern parts of the country, colourful folk costumes, traditional dances, music, food and drink can be seen on festive occasions throughout the year. Some of the traditions are even listed on the UNESCO list, such as South Moravia’s “Ride of the Kings” or “Shrovetide processions” in Hlinecko, with masked visitors going door-to-door, bringing hopes a good harvest and fertility before Easter.
Czech folk culture extends from festivals into physical forms as well. Crafty types may want to see how intricate blueprint fabrics are dyed using blocks and indigo ink, beer fans will appreciate the deep roots of local hops brewing, while centuries-old glassmaking techniques create stunning souvenirs as well as luxury art pieces. Fans of folk architecture should not miss the village of Holašovice showcasing Rural Baroque folk architecture and examples of traditional wooden architecture can be admired in numerous open air museums which from time to time become a place for various folk festivals.
To round out the senses, Czech folk traditions in food can incorporate smell and taste. The city of Pardubice is home to the sweet-and-tart flavour of Czech gingerbread, while the town of Olomouc has an entire festival and a museum devoted to its fragrant cheese (tvarůžky). The famous large leavened fruit pie, frgál, originating in the mountainous region of Moravian Wallachia, can nowadays be found in the Christmas and Easter markets across the country. And if you are already here, wandering around the Czech Republic, why not also try the traditional beers Pilsner Urquell or Budweiser Budvar, a decent shot of plum brandy or the herbal liqueur Becherovka. Did you know that it is also called the thirteenth healing spring of Karlovy Vary?