The Czech Republic is not a country that people normally associate with the Celts, but the fact is that they have a firm place in Czech history. Celtic culture has many fans in the Czech Republic who annually organize a Lughnasadh harvest festival in the small town of Nasavrky, east of Prague, to celebrate the country’s Celtic roots.
The Celts settled in the Czech lands around the 4th century BC –centuries ahead of the Slavs - inhabiting an area in the central and northwestern parts of the present-day Czech Republic which they called “Boii”. Today the region they once inhabited is called Bohemia.
Lughnasadh is a Gallic harvest festival celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and, for the fifteenth year now, also in the Czech Republic. One of the four big Celtic festivals, it is a thanksgiving to Mother Earth for the gifts of Nature.
The festival takes place at the end of July in Nasavrky a small town that is big on Celtic culture –boasting a Celtic archaeological open air museum.
The two-day event traditionally offers a fascinating glimpse into the culture and daily life of the Celts who inhabited the area with enactments of religious ceremonies and rites, athletic contests, feasting, blacksmithing, weaving, cooking, trading, and dancing portrayed by members of the Boii Association which organizes the festival. It takes place on Friday and Saturday and Anna Frantalová, from the Boii association, says it is packed with events.
“We start on Friday at 10am and if people have the time it is good to come for the whole event because the highlights will only be shown once. The main theme of the festival this year are the Gallic wars -an important period in Celtic history. There will be a historic reenactment of the Battle of Gergovia in which Vercingetorix, a Gallic chieftain who rallied the tribes of Gaul, repelled the Roman invasion of Julius Caesar. We will show scenes from the life of the Celts, and have prepared the premiere screening of a special short film for Friday night. The festival will end with a big concert on Saturday evening.”
The festival is perfect for families with children since it combines music, fun, and education outdoors. People can enjoy workshops, lectures and dance lessons as well as concerts on both evenings. There is a parking lot and campsite where people can pitch their tents.
In addition to an unforgettable experience visitors will be able to buy T-shirts, mugs and other commemorative items with the festival logo representing the Gallic wars – with a picture of a Celtic boar and a Roman eagle caught up in battle. People will need to have a negative Covid test or certificate of vaccination and respect the given safety precautions.
The festival is non-profit. All proceeds go to cover the event, to support the Celtic open air museum and the Boii Association.