A “Quiet” Weekend at the Hody

Today I became a Czech citizen an official long-term resident!

Czech ID

As one of my fellow Fulbrighters noted, they seem to go out of their way to make us look like members of Good Charlotte on our IDs.

After a long week, I needed to cheeeeeel. I had a great weekend here in Tišnov. There was an event called the hody, which takes place in many villages at different times and revolves around the commemoration of the village church’s dedication to Saint Václav, patron saint of the Czech Republic. The hody has great live music events, pub parties, traditional folk dancing, local beer and wine, and a craft market.

The first night, Friday, I went to a music event called bigbít:

Bigbit band
Bigbit band

Listening to people yell in Czech while I understand every 100th word is an oddly foot-tapping experience. I had my first ballroom dance to “Bittersweet Symphony,” played later in the night, and got to meet one of the bands, Lidopop. I’d highly recommend checking them out.

The next day was for the main events.

In our village, they set up the maypole in the village square:

Maypole and the town hall.
Maypole and the town hall.

Here was the local market:

A view of the market at the hody.
A view of the market at the hody.

There were a toooon of people, which was great to see in a usually really quiet village! I tried medovina, a Czech “honey wine,” drank some more burčak, and bought crochet leaf earrings as well as some dinky zipper bracelets that I LOVE.


Traditional dancing around the maypole.
Traditional dancing around the maypole.

Apparently in some villages, residents of other villages will come at night to literally steal the maypole. Glad that doesn’t happen here. Draaaaaama.

Some of my students danced in the above picture, and many also played in the local band Ha Kappela, which covered songs like “Dancing in September” and “Mamma Mia” and did an amazing job.

On Saturday night, I went with a colleague to an awesome electro-funk dance party at local pub U Palce and had such a good time! I mean, when you’re the only American and they’re playing music in English, IT GETS SERIOUS. Let’s be real, I was sent here to be a positive representative of the United States, and this clearly means screaming the lyrics to “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” at the top of my lungs. I met some former students and even scored one whole goal in fusbal…!

On Sunday, I got to try duck for the first time. It was delicious.

Stay tuned for a post about my trip to Prague: Part II.



  1. […] I remember my first time at the hody, a Czech celebration that takes place in villages and towns at whatever time of the year their local church was dedicated to the patron saint Václav, or Wenceslas. There’s no way to translate it into English except as the generalized “festival,” but I think that the word “hody” itself sounds very festive. Lighthearted. I came to the square in Tišnov and saw the mája (the tree in the photo, pronounced “maaya”) standing tall and upright in the center. Taller than 20 of me (okay maybe not that many). Taller than 5 of me. Its colorful streamers blew in the breeze above stands selling medovina (honey mead), local burčák (young, fizzy wine), personalized gingerbread hearts, fresh cheese, and all kinds of toys and crafts for children. It swayed above the dancing stárci, volunteers from the town who lead the celebration in traditional costumes and go around offering casks of wine to their fellow merrymakers. […]


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