Celebrating Czech Heritage: A Day at the Czech Embassy

On May 11, 2024, the Czech Republic Embassy in Washington, D.C. opened its doors to the public as part of the annual EU Open House event. This day was filled with vibrant displays of Czech culture, delicious food, and engaging activities, making it an unforgettable experience for all attendees. The event highlighted the rich heritage of the Czech Republic, with amazing work from Andrea Pohl, Public Relations Specialist for the embassy.

One of the highlights of the day was the appearance of the queens of the Miss Czech Slovak US Pageant. These queens showcased a stunning array of Czech national costumes, known as kroje, during an informative and visually captivating fashion show. The audience applauded enthusiastically as each costume was explained in detail, providing a deeper understanding of their cultural significance.

Visitors to the Czech Embassy were treated to a variety of activities and entertainment. The event offered something for everyone, from tasting delicious Czech cuisine and pastries from La Bohemia Bakery to enjoying Czech beer and wine tastings. Adventurous attendees even had the opportunity to try their hand at rowing. This year’s open house also honored the legacy of renowned Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, adding a touch of historical appreciation to the festivities.

A special performance by American Sokol Washington, D.C. added to the cultural experience. This family-oriented organization, which fosters physical fitness and heritage awareness, presented a selection of Czech songs and dances. Children dressed in traditional folk costumes, or kroje, delighted the audience with their renditions of typical folk songs such as “Zlatá brána,” “Žežuličko, kde jsi byla,” and “Já jsem muzikant.” The youngest members, known as sokolici, charmed everyone with their performance of “Mravenci – Ants,” which they have been diligently practicing for the upcoming ‘Všesokolský slet’ (all Sokol gathering) in Prague this July.

Adding to the festive atmosphere, Kaczi performed sets throughout the day on the keyboard, guitar, and accordion, keeping the crowds entertained and the children dancing. Her lively performances ensured that the energy never waned.

La Bohemia Bakery provided flavors that delighted every palate with pastries and treats that showcased the culinary heritage of the Czech Republic. Attendees savored each bite, celebrating the sweet traditions of Czech baking.

A highlight was the wine from Moravia, rich and bold, telling stories of vineyards in every glass. This provided a perfect accompaniment to the day’s culinary delights, toasting friendships new and old.

Rowing on the river brought laughter and joy to families, creating an engaging and fun activity for all ages. The presence of the Rockville City Police Department K-9 Unit, showcasing canines born and bred in the Czech Republic, added an exciting element to the day’s activities and was greatly appreciated by all attendees.

The Czech Embassy’s participation in the EU Open House was a testament to the vibrant culture and community spirit of the Czech Republic. It was a day filled with music, food, fun, and a celebration of Czech heritage that left a lasting impression on all who attended.