“Love day? Did she just misspell labour day?!” you may be asking yourself. So technically, today is a public holiday in many countries around Europe known as labour day. Labour day, as you may already know, dates back to 1886 when workers had a strike in Chicago. But in the Czech Republic the holiday has morphed into a day to celebrate love. It is celebrated with a kiss!
“A popular custom practiced on May 1st in the Czech Republic is to kiss your loved one beneath a blossoming cherry tree. Tradition says that a girl who is kissed under a blossoming cherry tree will stay beautiful all year round. However, if a cherry blossom cannot be found, couples often kiss beneath any other kind of blooming tree available.”TresBohemes
Love day is celebrated on May 1st all over the country. However in Prague, there is an extra twist to the tradition. Couples will come specifically to Petřín Park so that they can kiss in front of the statue of Karel Hynek Mácha. He is considered to be the most romantic Czech poet.
My first time celebrating May 1st with a loved one, there was even a news camera filming people kissing in front of the statue. I still wonder if my PDA was ever broadcast on national TV. While that relationship didn’t last, I credit the kiss to staying beautiful all year and to this year 😉
So why was Karel Hynek Mácha so romantic? It was all about his poem called Maj, which is Czech for May. While it was highly criticized when it was first published, it grew to become one of the most prominent works of Czech literature. Take that haters!
Here is an artistic translation of the poem:
“Late evening, on the first of May—
The twilit May—the time of love.
Meltingly called the turtle-dove,
Where rich and sweet pinewoods lay.
Whispered of love the mosses frail,
The flowering tree as sweetly lied,
The rose’s fragrant sigh replied
To love-songs of the nightingale.
In shadowy woods the burnished lake
Darkly complained a secret pain,
By circling shores embraced again;
And heaven’s clear sun leaned down to take
A road astray in azure deeps,
Like burning tears the lover weeps.”Wikipedia
Now who wouldn’t want to kiss under the blossoms of a blooming cherry tree while thinking about that? BRB, I need to go find some blooms cause this face isn’t going to stay this beautiful all on it’s own.
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