Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sunday, November 12, 2017
In the United States, Novemeber the 11th is known as "Veteran's Day", but here in the Czech Republic it is known as "Saint Martin's Day". He is the patron saint of soldiers, horses, riders, geese and wine makers; most often he is depicted on horseback with his half coat and the beggar.
Saint Martin was born in 316 AD as Martin of Tours. His father was a pagan Roman senior officer in the Roman province of Upper Pannonia, present-day Hungary, and forced Martin to become a soldier as early as the age of fifteen. He was named Bishop of Tours in 372, but continued to lead the life of a monk in a hut by the Loire River, where the Marmoutier abbey was later founded. Saint Martin died at the age of 81 in Candes near Tours, in 397.
Saint Martin’s Day is one of the most popular days of the year since early history. This day is associated not only with the coming of the first snow, but also with annual festivals and all that belong to them. It is impossible to separate this feast from a well-fed and roasted St. Martin's goose, usually served with bread or potato dumplings and red cabbage.
On a cold, dark night Martin encountered a half-naked beggar who asked him for alms. However, Martin had no money on him and, as he wanted to protect the beggar against the cold, he cleaved his coat into two halves and gave one to the beggar. The following night, Christ appeared in front of him dressed in one half of the coat. It is likely that this apparition caused Martin to be christened at Easter 339 and to decide to devote his life to God.
One says that the goose is eaten because geese disturbed Saint Martin’s sermons so they are now punished in the pan.
The other one holds that Martin was so modest that he concealed himself in a goose house to avoid his appointment as a bishop, but the cackling of the geese gave him away.
Country's weather lore:
Saint Martin is supposed to bring the first snowflakes to us.
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017
Sunday, October 8, 2017
Czech Population Rises To 10.588 Million
Prague, Sept. 11, 2017 The number of inhabitants of the Czech Republic rose by 9,200 to 10,588,063 by mid-2017 thanks to immigration, mainly from Ukraine and Slovakia, according to the preliminary data released by the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) today. There was a higher number of deaths than births. Between January and June, 57,787 people died, the highest number since 1996, the CSU said.
In the same period, 55,528 children were born, roughly the same number as a year ago, when it was the highest over the past six years. The proportion of the children born out of wedlock reached 49 percent, while it stood at 48.6 percent last year. In the first six months of the year, 22,590 people moved to the Czech Republic, while 11,088 moved out. Roughly 2,600 more Ukrainians, 2,100 Slovaks and 700 Vietnamese were registered in the Czech Republic.
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Religion in the Czech Republic was
dominated by Christianity until at least the first half of
the 20th century; since then it has steadily declined and today the Czech
Republic has one of the least religious populations in the world.