September 28th is Czech Statehood Day and it is a public holiday here. It sounds like it would be the Czech equivalent of the 4th of July but it actually celebrates St. Wenceslas, the nation's patron saint.
Václav I (Wenceslas in English) is credited with founding the independent Czech state. He was murdered by his brother Boleslav in Stará Boleslav. In Prague, there is Wenceslas Square which has played host to the most important events in Czech history.
- The Czechoslovak state was proclaimed here in 1918. (October 28th is the Day of Establishment of the Independent Czechoslovak Republic).
- Protests against the Soviet-led invasion in 1968 took place there and in 1969 Ján Palach, a young student, set himself on fire there in protest of the Soviet occupation.
- Finally, the demonstrations of 1989 in Wenceslas Square saw the fall of the communist regime.
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