By Emma Palova
Today is my dad Vaclav Konecny’s name day, and my brother’s as well. Vaclav is the regular modernized version of Wenceslas, which was a royal name for the kings of Bohemia. It is a national holiday in the Czech Republic also known as ‘Czech Statehood Day’ that has been celebrated since 2000.
Sept. 28 is the feast day of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia, and it commemorates his death in 935. St. Wenceslas was the duke of Bohemia and the patron saint of the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, he was the victim of a murder plot orchestrated by Boleslav, who was his own brother. People celebrate this feast with festivals around the nation.
The main square in Prague is called “Vaclavak” or Vaclavske Namesti. It’s more a boulevard than a square and it is the busiest place in Prague, and traditionally a place for gatherings and manifestations, the site of Christmas markets. The statue of St. Wenceslas adorns the boulevard at the top along with the National Museum.
Throughout the years, “Vaclavak”, originally known as Konsky Trh or Horse Market, has witnessed many demonstrations, both sad and joyful events; invasion of Soviet tanks in 1968, demonstrations against the Soviet occupation, 1989 Velvet Revolution demonstrations and demonstrations on Sept. 3 of this year against the current government.
A big celebration planned for Wenceslas Square on Sept. 28, 2022 has been canceled due to security reasons, as a protest is scheduled to take place on the square. The protest called “Czech Republic First” is taking place right now.
“Vaclavak” is the site of a big seasonal market offering beers, food, and souvenirs.
Happy name day to my father Vaclav who inspired my memoir Greenwich Meridian Memoir about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the USA.
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