Every year, in the days when winter slowly gives way to spring, many villages in the Hlinecko Region hold colourful and merry carnival processions that travel from house to house, delivering joy, health and happiness to everyone they visit. Their history reaches far back into the past, and thanks to their strong tradition, which has been passed down from generation to generation, they have also been added to the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
This fantastic theatrical show can be seen every year in the period between the Epiphany and Ash Wednesday. Although Shrovetide processions take place throughout the Czech Republic, in the Hlinecko Region they have been preserved in their almost original form for two centuries. You will see the most beautiful processions in Vortová, Studnice, Hamry, Blatno, Podhradí, Vitanov and Stan u Hlinska.
Can you smell that aroma?
What exactly is the origin of these unique Shrovetide processions? It was simply a time of great feasting, during which people ate to their heart’s content. That’s because it was followed by the forty-day fast of Lent. Therefore, before the fasting period began magnificent banquets were held, dances took place in towns, and rich feasts were enjoyed in villages. To this day, during the Shrovetide processions you can taste a wide variety of delicacies, from excellent sweet cakes and sausages to black pudding and pork crackling, which ideally should be washed down with homemade plum brandy.
Join the procession!
Who are you most likely to encounter in the Shrovetide procession? The main characters are the Turk, “little wife”, straw man, knacker with a mare, and the chimney sweep. Also indispensable are a bear, a Jew and a master of ceremonies, who appeals to each homeowner for permission for the procession to stop there. You, too, can take part in the parade! You need only don a creative costume and join in. You can also enjoy the whole theatrical goings-on among the hundreds of other onlookers.
Bring the children along
The Hlinecko Shrovetide processions are a wonderful spectacle, not just for adults but also for children. The fascinating jumble of colourful costumes, making a bright contrast with the surrounding white of the snow, is simply an experience you’ll never forget. And when you taste some of the carnival delicacies and hear the rhythm of the jolly songs, you will leave all your worries behind.