Sunday, September 28, 2008

Good King Wenceslas murdered

The Czech Republic celebrates the Czech Statehood Day today. Exactly 1,073 years ago, on September 28th, 935, Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia - now St. Wenceslaus, the Czech patron - was murdered by his brother Boleslaus. He was only 28.

Yes, Wenceslaus I is the same guy whom you know from "Good King Wenceslas", the carol in the video above (see lyrics, both English and Czech). In the carol, a poor man tries to find some winter fossil fuels. The good king indirectly helps him; Wenceslaus also saves his freezing page boy by a little bit of global warming emanating from the king's carbon footprints. (The environmentalists have literally rotated the "good" and "bad" upside down! Neither Czechia nor the Vatican is planning to denounce St. Wenceslaus because of his warm footprints so far.)

Sv. Václav - his Czech name - is also the Gentleman on the horse on the Wenceslaus Square in Prague, a place named after him, much like many other things. Boleslaus killed Wenceslaus while the latter was coming to the church: a very nasty scenario. It was enough for Boleslaus to succeed Wenceslaus as the prince of Bohemia.

Four new recordings of the Czech national anthem were presented for the anniversary.

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