At no other time of the year are there so many costumed people at Prague Castle and in front of the Archbishop’s Palace as on the day of the Navalis St. John’s Day festivities dedicated to the memory of Saint John of Nepomuk. Costumed people from Moravian Slovácko come to the capital every time, who play and sing in front of the palace, take part in the service in the cathedral of St. He welcomes and also the subsequent large procession to the Charles Bridge.
Vlastimil Ondra, who has several folklore ensembles under his belt and also leads his four children in music and faith, was among those in costume on Monday, May 15.
“It surrounds us from a young age. And when we live in it, we naturally absorb it. It’s not just about costumes and singing, but about the whole way of life and thinking,” Ondra, who lives in Nivnica, told Aktuálně.cz. Other costumed people came, for example, from Boršice near Blatnice, Blatnice pod Svatý Antonínek, Dolní Bojanovice or Kunovice.
It is from Kunovice that there is also a banderium on horses, which for several years regularly accompanies the Archbishop of Prague, which is part of the long procession from the Bishop’s Palace to the Charles Bridge. The Navalis festivities continue on the Vltava with parachute jumps, music and boat rides. The aforementioned banderium consists of several riders who have historically accompanied important personalities at various celebrations. By the way, when Prince Charles, now King Charles III, visited Moravia in the past, he was accompanied by the same banderium from Kunovice.
This year’s Navalis festivities, their tradition started in 2009, had one significant change. The new Archbishop of Prague, Jan Graubner, had his premiere at these festivities, and he welcomed the costumed people with particular joy. He himself comes from the places where the costumed people came from. In addition, he was archbishop in southern Moravia for many years.
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