May 1 – an unordinary day in Prague (Part Two)

Where for some May 1st represents the true and only Love Day, for others it commemorates the historic achievements of the Labor movement in the world. And some people recall the not long gone communist era in the Czech Republic. Why?

May 1 in Letna The celebrations of May 1st are in many people’s mind connected with the huge celebrations during the communist regime. For over forty years, there were float parades in all big cities in the back then Czechoslovakia. The biggest parade was, of course, in Prague, to be more precise, in Letna Plain, Prague 7.

The participation on those massive communist manifestations celebrating the Labor Day was mandatory. People had to go if they didn’t want to have troubles. And so the big plain in Letna witnessed every year on May 1st the same scenario – thousands of people waving little Czechoslovak and Soviet flags at the communists party officials who were seated on a tribune decorated in red, with huge pictures of Marxist leaders and signs “With Soviet Union Forever”. For everyone this was a waste of time.

Thanks God this era is gone and people in Prague don’t have to go to Letna on May 1st and pretend enthusiasm. They can do whatever they want. No wonder that people in Czech Republic prefer to celebrate the Love Day rather than Labor Day on May 1st. The Labor Day brings bitter memories.

But it is not true that there are no demonstrations at Letna on May 1st since the fall of communism. Last year there was a great anti-communist demonstration. It is easy to see why it was there and at that time. (see Part One)

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