Where to catch the Czech Mardi Gras in Prague
The word Masopust means "to give up meat" and, traditionally, it's a last chance to feast (predominantly on pork) before the fasting and penitence begin.
Like many Christian festivals, though, Masopust incorporates elements of much older traditions, involving fertility rites and celebrating the coming of spring.
Those elements live on in the masks and costumes traditionally worn by revelers, representing various mythical characters and creatures.
Prague's biggest Masopust celebration takes place in the Žižkov district (Prague 3), where festivities, halted by the communists in the 1960s, were resumed in 1993.
This year festivities run from Saturday, February 5th until Tuesday, February 8th, at a variety of Žižkov locations.
On Saturday, a children's afternoon at Palác Akropolis is followed by a concert at the same venue, featuring Laura a její tygři, Tam Tam Batucada, and the Tam Tam Orchestra.
In keeping with Masopust's main theme - a world turned upside-down - Sunday sees officials from Prague 3 city hall put to work in the kitchen, preparing various delicacies for the people of Prague at the U vystřelenýho oka pub.
The action returns to Akropolis on Monday night, with a concert by legendary Czech rock band The Plastic People of the Universe.
But the main event - the parade - is reserved for Shrove Tuesday (8th), beginning at 1pm on Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad square.
Accompanied by various musicians, drummers and jugglers, and with plenty of stops along the way for free beer and pork, the parade slowly winds its way back to JzP, where, later in the evening, a free outdoor rock concert features Aleš Brichta, Pavla Kapitánová, and Doctor P.P.
Žižkov, however, isn't the only Prague district to celebrate Masopust.
There are also celebrations in the Malá Strana/Hradčany area of Prague 1, where the main parade takes place on Saturday 5th, allowing people who'd otherwise be at work to join the revelry.
After congregating outside the U Černého vola pub at 1:30pm, the parade visits several other hostelries on its way to Kampa island, where there'll be live music and refreshment stands from noon until 6pm.
There's also a Masopust celebration in Prague 6-Břevnov.
Video on YouTube
Signal Festival 2016 will light up Prague by
The festival of light art is the biggest cultural event in the country
State Opera productions are now at Karlín by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Narodni Divadlo)
A long-planned renovation has pushed the program to a new home
Taking Shakespeare to the streets of Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
One of the Bard's most obscure plays will be performed as a walking tour
4+4 Days in Motion will explore another disused building by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The annual performance and art festival will be centered near Old Town Square
Stanislav Libenský Award entrants on display at DOX by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: DOX - Natsuki Katsukawa, Japan)
Contemporary glass art from over 30 young international artists is showcased
Red Bull Flying Bach blends classical and hip-hop by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Break dance is performed to Bach is a show seem by 400,000 people worldwide
Všichni svatí (All Saints) by Nová Galerie - Prague.TV
or the legacy of Charles IV's ideas for contemporary art and culture
Free opera at Divoká Šárka by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: wikipedia)
Smetana's Two Widows will play one show at the outdoor theater
5 Unique Museums in the Czech Republic by Olena Kagui - Prague.TV (Foto: kovozoo.cz)
Explore some unique museums the Czech Republic has to offer
Theater festival Divadlo to take place in Plzeň by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Troupes from the CEE region will show new productions
Kids Indoor Playground in Prague 5, OC Zlicin
27 taps with excellent craft beers and ciders in the center...
Prague.TV users have a 50% discount on Pivovar Lužinys...
Take a guided tour to Sapa, Prague’s “Little Vietnam”
Trabant Museum @ STK Motol
Armádní muzeum Žižkov
Národní památník hrdinů heydrichiády
Goout.cz Tickets for Cultural Events in Prague