Originally Published: February 19, 2015

So its jaw-dropping skyline, ancient cobbled lanes, and endless supply of beer are just not enough to get you to Prague, you say? This list of the year’s top festivals has got “book now” written all over it. From foodie fests to cultural events, here’s your ultimate Prague to-do list for 2015.

February

Czech Mardi Gras

Now through early March 2015

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masopust

Called masopust (farewell to meat) in Czech, this lead up to Lent commences in late January and is in full swing by mid-February. Czech villagers host ritual pig slaughters, and traditional pork delicacies like blood soup and sausage abound on menus throughout Prague. It all culminates in colorful parades throughout the country. The most popular one in Prague takes place this year on March 3 in the Zizkov district.

prague masopust (mardi gras)

March

Prague Fashion Weekend

March 21–22, 2015

mbpfw.com

Though not a fashion capital on par with Paris, London or New York, Prague’s fairly young fashion weekend has become a chic celebration of Central European designers with runway shows, pop-up boutiques and cocktail parties lending to the well-heeled fun.

prague fashion weekend
Prague Fashion Weekend

Febio Fest

March 19–27, 2015

febiofest.cz

A laid-back international film festival with a program of highly anticipated film premieres, retrospectives and tributes by day (expect lots of English-language or subtitled films) and live music from local bands by night. This year Hitchcock muse Kim Novak will be the guest of honor.

April

Easter Markets

Late March–late April, 2015

velikonocevpraze.praguewelcome.com

Nearly as popular as Prague’s legendary Christmas Markets, the Easter markets sell brilliantly painted, hand-blown eggs and pomlázka, the bundles of pussy willow twigs adorned with colorful ribbons that are used by Czech men to spank Czech women during the Czech Easter festivities. The largest market is in Old Town Square.

easter festivals prague
Easter markets are just around the corner!

Witches’ Night

April 30, 2015

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpurgis_Night

A fascinating ancient folk festival (in Czech: čarodějnice) where straw effigies of witches, said to represent winter, are burned to make way for spring. A lantern procession typically takes place from Lesser Town Square (around 7 pm) to Kampa Park where the witch burning takes place.

May

Prague Fringe Festival

May 22–30, 2015

praguefringe.com

An acclaimed international theater festival with sister events in Edinburgh and New York, the Prague Fringe Festival is a week-long staging of theater, comedy and musical performances at unique venues throughout the city.

fringe festival prague
Prague’s Fringe Festival is a highlight on the calendar

Prague Food Festival

May 29–31, 2015

praguefoodfestival.cz

A giant picnic on the sprawling lawns of Prague Castle. This annual event packs the best of Prague and the Czech Republic’s culinary scene, from its top restaurants and most skilled food artisans, into one delicious weekend.

prague food festival
One delicious weekend!

June

Prague Museum Night

June 13, 2015

prazskamuzejninoc.cz

Participating museums and cultural institutes open their doors to the public for free (and stay open till midnight!) for a festive night of gallery hopping. Bonus events and activities like DIY art workshops, pop-up bars and musical performances make the evening extra enchanted.

July

Prague Folklore Days

July 23–26, 2015

hpraguefestival.cz/folklore

Cosmopolitan Prague is transformed into a city of flag-waving, folk-dancing, costumed ensembles from all over Europe who give free open-air performances in the city’s historic squares.

August

Letní Letná

August 13–September 6, 2015

en.letniletna.cz

A new international circus festival held at Prague’s Letná park promises acrobatic feats from world-famous troupes and loads of activities for families.

letni letna prague
Amazing feats of acrobatics at Letni Letna

Prague Pride

2015 dates TBD

praguepride.cz

Prague’s annual celebration of its LGBT community is a week-long extravaganza of parties and concerts, ending in a joyful parade on Wenceslas Square.

September

Strings of Autumn

2015 dates TBD

strunypodzimu.cz

This renowned annual festival of classical music celebrates 20 years in 2015, and hosts international talent as well as homegrown virtuosos. Many of the performances take place in Prague’s Rudolfinum, said to have the finest acoustics in Europe!

strings of autumn - prague
The dulcet tones of Strings of Autumn

Birell Grand Prix

September 5, 2015

runczech.com/en/events/birell-prague-grand-prix-2015

A stunning 10k night run through Prague’s majestic Old Town, this is just one of many races organized throughout the year in the Czech Republic by the RunCzech running league.

October

Designblok

October 5–11, 2015

designblok.cz

Czechs have long been known for their work in the field of design; and Designblok, Prague’s design and fashion week, is its pre-eminent showcase. Everything from jewelry to furniture and art is exhibited and sold by local artists.

designblok prague
Designblok, Prague’s fashion and design week

November

St. Martin’s Festival

Early November 2015

It’s said that the St. Martin’s Day tradition derives from the stick-to-your-ribs meals once prepared by peasants in anticipation of the harsh winter ahead. A number of Prague restaurants do a St. Martin’s feast of roasted goose with red cabbage and dumplings throughout November, and the Czech version of Beaujolais nouveau, Svatomartinské vino, is poured at vineyards and wine bars in Prague this month.

December

Prague Christmas Festival

Late November, 2015–January 1, 2016

Christmastime in the Czech Republic, alive with the sounds of carols and the scent of mulled wine and cinnamon funnel cake wafting from the markets, lures loads of visitors to Prague each year with its special holiday magic.

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