The Velvet Revolution, triggered by a students’ protest which led to the end of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, replaced by a democracy and opened up their country to the world.
November 17 is a very significant date in Czechoslovakia for freedom and democracy. It marks 2 very significant events in the history of the country. The Velvet Revolution began with a student protest on 17 November 1989 which led to a general strike involving all of their citizens. This culminated in a non-violent transition of power, converting Czechoslovakia into a parliamentary republic.
Exactly 50 years earlier in 1939, another student protest was staged against Nazi occupation. This Central European country did not want to be grouped with the others behind the Iron Curtain. A medical student was killed and his funeral turned into a massive student protest. This led to the Nazis closing all the Universities, putting all the students into concentration camps and executing 9 of them. This appalling act led to the day being marked as the International Students Day by the International Union of Students.
Today in London, this day is celebrated with Czech hospitality. The 8th yearly gathering at The Porterhouse in Covent Garden brought together Czech in London and friends to enjoy some Czech beer and food, like Czech Goulash with dumplings.
There are of course many different Czech Beers but the one that most people are familiar with is the original Czech Budweiser (not the American Bud). I just learnt that in a blind tasting, with Budweiser served in a Champagne glasses, it won a lot of taste tests for it’s complexity and flavour.
Budvar featured 2 of their beers, the Krausened Lager, naturally hazy as it is unfiltered and unpasteurised. It’s a 4% ABV beer made in the Krausening technique and double fermented and matured in kegs. The second was their Dark Lager, winner of the world’s best dark lager. It is made with Saaz hops, Moravian barley and natural spring water from our artisan well water.
You can read more about Czech lifestyle, food and drink on Czech Stories.
EatCookExplore was a guest of Czech Tourism