Czech Holidays in 2017 make several long weekends

Only two holidays fall on weekends, making for fewer working days

People who have just come through the holidays know the calendar can be cruel. Of the three days off for Christmas, only one was not on the weekend, which most people have off anyway. Thanks, Santa, for a perfect end to 2016.

But 2017 will be a bit better. Only three of the official state holidays will be on weekends, and that includes Jan. 1, 2017, which is Independence Day. So for the rest of the year after that there are only two, and they are at the end of the year: Independent Czechoslovak State Day on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Christmas Eve on Sunday, Dec. 24.

There will be 250 working days in the year, down from 252 in 2016. In addition, several holidays fall on Mondays or Fridays, creating long weekends. The Easter weekend of course will have both Good Friday and Easter Monday, to make a four-day weekend from April 14 to April 17. While not a state holiday, Masopust, called Mardis Gras or Carnival, falls on Tuesday, Feb. 28. It marks the start of the countdown to Easter.

Labor Day, on May 1, and Liberation Day, on May 8, both fall on Mondays, making two long weekends in a row at hopefully the start of nice weather. Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day on Friday, Nov. 17, makes another three-day weekend.

The summer has two holidays in a row for Saints Cyril and Methodius Day and Jan Hus Day on July 5 and 6, which are a Wednesday and Thursday. With the help of one vacation day people can have a five-day weekend, or with three vacation days you can get nine days free in a row.

A four-day weekend can be arranged with one vacation day as St. Wenceslas Day, or Czech Statehood Day, falls on Thursday, Sept. 28. The year ends well, too, with Dec. 25 and 26, both legal holidays, falling on a Monday and Tuesday to make a four-day weekend, followed by Jan. 1, 2018, falling on a Monday for a three-day weekend.

Summer Time, also referred to as Daylight Saving Time, starts March 26 at 2 am and ends Oct. 29 at 3 am.

The law closing most large stores on holidays will continue to be in effect next year. It affects stores larger than 200 square meters, with some exceptions, for example, for pharmacies and gas stations. The days it covers in 2017 are New Year's Day on Jan. 1, Easter Monday on April 17, Liberation Day on May 8, Czech Statehood Day on Sept. 28, Independent Czechoslovak State Day on Oct. 28, Christmas Eve on Dec. 24 (only after noon), Christmas Day on Dec. 25 and St Stephen's Day on Dec. 26.

There are only two Friday the 13ths in 2017, occurring in January and October. Sky watchers have very few things to look forward to. There is only one supermoon, on Dec. 3, when the moon makes its closest approach and will appear larger than normal. There are no blue moons in 2017, if you define a blue moon as a second full moon in a calendar month. There are also no seasons with four full moons, which is another definition of a blue moon. (The third of the four would be the blue moon.)

A partial eclipse of the moon will be visible Feb. 11, when the moon passes through the penumbra of the earth, but not the full shadow. It will be visible from all of Europe and Africa, among other places.

A partial lunar eclipse with a section of the moon in full shadow will be visible Aug. 7 at moonrise. Solar eclipses on Feb. 26 and Aug. 11 will not be visible at all from the Czech Republic.

Public holidays in 2017
Jan. 1: New Year's Day, Independence Day (Sunday)
April 14: Good Friday
April 17: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day (Monday)
May 8: Liberation Day (Monday)
July 5: Saints Cyril and Methodius Day (Wednesday)
July 6: Jan Hus Day (Thursday)
Sept, 28: St. Wenceslas Day, Czech Statehood Day (Thursday)
Oct. 28: Independent Czechoslovak State Day (Saturday)
Nov. 17: Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day (Friday)
Dec. 24: Christmas Eve, Štědrý den (Sunday)
Dec. 25: Christmas Day, 1. svátek vánoční (Monday)
Dec. 26: St. Stephen's Day, 2. svátek vánoční (Tuesday)

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