Prague, Oct 26 (CTK) – Czechs will commemorate the 97th anniversary of the establishment of the independent Czechoslovak state on October 28, in 1918 by a series of events on Wednesday.
The national holiday is traditionally celebrated by commemorative meetings, military parades and concerts.
The Kramar villa, a former residence of prime ministers, and the Municipal House, where the National Committee adopted the law on the foundation of Czechoslovakia and declared its independence, in Prague centre will be open to the public for free.
The celebrations will culminate at Prague Castle, the presidential seat, where President Milos Zeman will bestow state decorations and medals on renowned personalities.
On the occasion of the national holiday, Zeman will also appoint new generals and participate in a ceremony in which soldiers will take their oath on Hradcany Square outside Prague Castle.
A commemorative meeting will also be held at the Vitkov National Memorial. Along with Zeman, it will be attended by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) and Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO).
On Tuesday, Sobotka will lay a wreath at the statues of first Czechoslovak president Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (1918-35) and his successor Edvard Benes (1935-48) in Prague.
Zeman will lay a wreath on the Masaryk grave in Lany, central Bohemia, the presidential summer residence, and at his statue outside Prague Castle on Wednesday.
University rectors, headed by Czech Rectors’ Conference chairman Tomas Zima, will commemorate Masaryk’s legacy on Hradcany Square as well.
However, the rectors will not attend the award-giving ceremony at Prague Castle for a third time in a row as Zeman did not invite two of them to it again.
The cultural programme on October 28 will offer, for instance, the Concert for the Republic by the Prague Symphonic Orchestra playing Bedrich Smetana’s My Country symphonic cycle in the Smetana Hall of Prague’s Municipal House.
Events marking the anniversary of establishment of Czechoslovakia will be held in other Czech towns, too.
Apart from official events, the extra-parliamentary National Democracy nationalist party is to stage a meeting in Prague. The Bloc against Islam and the parliamentary Dawn-National Democracy plan to demonstrate against illegal migration in four towns.
The Czechoslovak Republic was established in 1918 after the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy that was defeated in WWI. The state ceased to exist on December 31, 1992, when it was divided into the Czech and Slovak republics.