Hody, which literally means the Feasts, is an annual traditional celebration held between May to November throughout the Czech and Slovak Republics. This year, NCSML is offering several opportunities to celebrate Czech and Slovak culture by partnering with Czech Village restaurants, visiting world-class musicians, and offering free admission on Sunday, July 17 to celebrate 10 years since the grand opening of our current elevated and expanded Museum and Library.

All programming is free during Hody 2022, but a freewill donation is suggested so that future NCSML events and programming can continue! Thank you to our programming sponsors Sharon Curtis of Winter Garden, FL and GreatAmerica.

We are also partnering with Catherine McAuley Center during this weekend as a collection point for a canned food drive and other essential supplies. They play an important role in our community offering educational and supportive services that promote stability, skill-building, and connections for immigrants, refugees, and women experiencing crisis.

Hody Food Specials
July 15- 17
Local Czech Village restaurants will be offering Hody street food throughout the weekend. Check back for new additions and more details.

Hospoda – Pizza
Lion Bridge Brewing Co. – French Fry “Cone” dusted with paprika
Sweet Mercantile – Sweeties Cherry Kolache Sundae

Vladislav Bláha and Tanja Drobysh

Vladislav Bláha and Tanja Drobysh Performance
Friday, July 15 • 7:30 p.m. CDT
Internationally renowned Czech guitarist, Vladislav Bláha, along with Tanja Drobysh, return to NCSML to perform an entertaining evening of classical, Latin-American, jazz, and folk pieces on guitar, mandolin, and domra.

At the Piano with Dr. Katelyn Bouska: A Masterclass
Saturday, July 16 • 10 a.m.
Dr. Katelyn Bouska will present a musical masterclass discussion about piano music with a focus on Czech composers. With interpretations described as “full of life, flexibility, gripping rhythms and a richness of dynamic shadings” (Milan Bátor, Czech Radio) Bouska has a skill at engaging audiences in the musical dialogue.

Fragments from a Women’s Diary: Telling Our Immigrant Stories in Song
Saturday, July 16 • 2 p.m.
Immigration, war, and displacement are central human themes, as old as recorded history but still as unique and fragile as each of our single lives. This interactive workshop delves into the power of these experiences, first in six women composers and then exploring our own stories.

Katelyn Bouska Recital
Saturday, July 16 • 7:30 p.m.
Pianist Dr. Katelyn Bouska will perform a moving recital consisting of work from “Fragments from a Woman’s Diary” by Ruth Schönthal and other deeply personal works by Czech, Ukrainian, Polish, and American women composers.

Free admission today sign

Free Museum Admission
Sunday, July 17; noon – 4 p.m.
Experience Czech and Slovak culture with free museum admission from noon to 4 p.m. Light refreshments and cookies will be available to celebrate 10 years since the 2012 grand opening celebration of our newly elevated and expanded museum and library.

The History of Hody

Hody is an annual traditional celebration held between May to early fall throughout the Czech and Slovak Republics. The celebration usually takes place on a Sunday and may last one or two more days. In the center of the event stands a festive maypole (in Czech: mája or májka), often almost 100 feet tall and built from two or three spruce trees. It’s usually manually erected one day before the festivity and stands in the center of a dancing place where people dance and sing with the accompaniment of the brass music.

The main organizer and arranger of Hody is a selected young boy called první stárek (the first stárek – literally the first “old one”). He and a group of young friends (somewhere they are called stáreks – Czech plural: stárci; or they can be called chasa) are responsible for the organization and smooth running of the event. Each stárek (or member of chasa) also has a girl partner, usually called starka or stárka. The boys and girls wears a traditional folk costume, which differs widely from region to region.

Hody Couple Dancing