Prague, Dec 18 (CTK) – A day-long public meeting commemorating Vaclav Havel, the late Czech dissident, playwright and first post-communist president, on the fifth anniversary of his death was held in a central square in Prague yesterday, including the lighting of candles and reading from Havel’s books and plays.
People also lit candles at Havel’s grave at Prague’s Vinohrady cemetery and at the heart sculpture on the piazzetta near the National Theatre that was recently named after Havel.
Following the reading event, about thirty participants set off for the Prague Castle, the presidential seat, at 18:00, carrying a large cloth heart and promoting the Heart to the Castle motto.
Kristyna Herejtova, from the team of organisers, said the Czech Republic lacks a personality like Havel. There is no one like him to symbolise the country and promote its good name abroad, she told CTK.
“He was an extraordinarily ordinary man. He had brilliant ideas. His words are timeless…it is important not to forget about them,” Herejtova said.
Dozens of people lit candles at Havel’s grave, next to the wreaths laid by his widow Dagmar and representatives of the two houses of parliament, the Polish embassy and other institutions.
Some Praguers rolled up their trousers a bit in playful remembrance of Havel’s strikingly short trousers during his late 1989 ceremonial inauguration as the first post-communist president.
In the morning, a requiem for Havel was celebrated in St Vitus Cathedral by Prague Archbishop Cardinal Dominik Duka.
An annual event “Reading of Havel” took place in the Alfred ve dvore theatre in the afternoon.
Havel, a leading dissident and playwright, became the first Czechoslovak president after the fall of the communist regime, and he was the first president of the independent Czech Republic in 1993-2003.
He died in his favourite country house in Hradecek, east Bohemia, on December 18, 2011.