For some reason, May is all about the festivals in Prague. An exciting time to visit, as you know you will have the opportunity to experience something different. Here’s a brief round-up of what’s happening where and when.
Prague Marathon: Of course you want to run 42 kilometers on your holiday. The Prague Marathon is actually a well-regarded and beautiful race, winding as it does through Old Town and along the Vltava River. If you have no interest in running, there are a bunch of peripheral events happening this weekend including a corporate marathon, family mini-marathon (4.2 kilometers), a 2 kilometer walk, a walk with dogs and an in-line skate event. All the details can be found here. Be warned if you are in town that weekend, on the actual marathon day (May 8), roads are closed and buses and trams are re-routed for the duration of the race. When: May 7-8, 2011.
Prague Spring: Prague is a city full of music and festivals celebrating that musical. The crowning glory of the music festival event calendar though is Prague Spring. Now in its 66th year, this top-notch festival brings some of the most influential orchestras, ensembles and soloists to Prague. There is also a strong competition element, so your chance to see the upcoming stars of tomorrow, today. The San Francisco Symphony and the New York Philharmonic; the Prague Guitar Quartet and Ensemble Martinu as well as John Malkovich (yes, the actor) and Dawn Upshaw are just a few of the fabulous people ready to play. Tickets go fast so it’s best to reserve as soon as possible, which can be done online at Ticketpro.cz. For a full program and more details, visit their website. When: May 12-June 4.
Book World Prague: The city’s largest homage to the book occurs at the Vystaviste exhibition grounds. This year the focus is on literature from the Arab world and the guest of honor is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While most of the books are in Czech, it is worth checking out the program as many of the events with foreign authors are held in English. For example, at the fair, there will be a photography exhibition on The Sahara desert; a discussion on the world of modern Arabic literature, a reading by Israeli author David Grossman and a presentation of books about Ronald Reagan. The full program and more details are available here. When: May 12-15, 2011.
Czech Beer Festival: Billing itself as the largest gastronomic event in Prague, the Czech Beer Festival is your one-stop shop for tasting more than 70 types of Czech beer, along with some hearty Czech food. Held in a Prague suburb at the Letnany fairgrounds, big tents filled with tables, costumed wait staff and music will keep you entertained as long as you can stand it. When: May 12-28, 2011.
Khamoro: Khamoro World Roma Festival is a celebration of all things Roma. With a week of events including exhibitions, music and discussions, organizers aim to help better integrate Roma by celebrating their rich cultural heritage. The highlight is always the fantastic Gypsy jazz bands that play nightly. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketstream.cz and program details can be found on their website (Czech only). When: May 22-28, 2011
Prague Food Festival: Your chance to sample the best from the Czech Republic’s top restaurants in one delicious weekend. Held on the grounds of Prague Castle, the Prague Food Festival brings together top chefs, plus lots of beverages for a world culinary tour. Also expect cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, drink and food pairings and other fun things to see and do. Tickets can be purchased on their website, www.praguefoodfestival.cz. When: May 27-29
Photos courtesy of CzechTourism