People are different, but we share many customs, as we observe daily also in our multinational company. Localization obviously affects cultural customs worldwide, but one thing is in common – we all like to stop and celebrate on many occasions and for many reasons. One good reason, for example, has historically been the advent of autumn and harvest.
Wine and the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic usually enjoys a nice and mild mid-European autumn atmosphere featuring beer and mainly wine festivals as well as grape harvest feasts in the romantic fall settings with beautifully colored leaves... during this time, usually there are no inversions or freezing drizzle. There is a number of mainly regional and local events (often with traditions that are centuries old), featuring folklore arts and lots of food and, as is pretty common in the Czech Republic, plentiful to drink – mainly new young wine called "burčák" (tastes like sweet grape juice, but already contains a fair share of alcohol, so one should be careful to regulate the intake).
Autumn is doubly significant to Czech people as the very first Czech nation state gained its independence from Austria in autumn 1918. October 28th, when the Czechoslovak Republic came into existence has since been celebrated as the most important national day of all.
Lights on the ground
Another important event but, in this case, a religious feast that also has become a secular tradition – in the otherwise highly atheist Czech nation – is All Saints Day on November 1st. On this day (and usually the two weekends surrounding it), Czech people visit cemeteries and light little candles on the graves of their dead, as well as on memorials. Graveyards turn into nostalgic sites with dim, yet magnificent light shows, and the event is, although a little melancholic at its core, considered a social event and a time for family members to meet.
Conveniently enough, the two autumn national feasts are close to each other in the calendar, therefore they are frequently used for holidays by quite a number of Czechs.
Piece of Japan in Prague
Even in the Czech Republic, there's also a Japanese community that shares the Japanese culture and traditions with locals at various feasts and events. On October 4th, the "Aki Matsuri" 2015 autumn festival took place in Prague, organized by the Czech-Japanese Association. The event, focused mainly on families with kids, offered a peak into Japanese martial arts and food, and it had even organized origami or kendamu workshops and Japanese games. With a beautiful weather and a temperature nudging close to 25°C, everyone could enjoy.