Hody 2021

NCSML is starting a new tradition to show pride in our community, our rich immigrant history, and to support our mission and vision.

Join National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library as we introduce a new term and festival to the community: Hody, which means “the Feast”. Support this event and become an inaugural Hody or Maypole Supporter. All proceeds for this event go to support NCSML’s engaging exhibits, educational programming, and community events.

Hody Supporter

In appreciation of your gift as a Hody Supporter you will receive:

  • Inaugural two-sided, full-color Hody 2021 yard sign measuring 24″ x 18″, complete with yard stand.
  • Six homemade koláče.

Maypole Supporter

In appreciation of your gift as a Maypole Supporter you will receive:

  • 10′ maypole complete with ribbons, ribbon stakes, and floral crown topper.
  • Delivery within a radius of 30 miles of Cedar Rapids (owner is responsible for installation).
  • Instructions on how to install and wrap your Maypole.
  • One dozen (12) homemade koláče.

Hody Events


Drive-up Traditional Czech Meal – SOLD OUT
Friday, May 21; Pickup between 4 and 7 p.m.

Linden Tree Planting followed by Moravian Glory Opening
Saturday, May 22 at 10 a.m.

Cooking Demonstration with Slovak Ambassador Radovan Javorčík – SOLD OUT
Saturday, May 22 at 2 p.m.

Czech & Slovak Wine Tasting with Sommelier Dr. Steven Greif
Saturday, May 22; 5 p.m.


Concert by Jozef Ivaška Jr. – SOLD OUT
Sunday, May 23; 2 p.m.

The History of Hody

Hody is an annual traditional celebration held between May to November 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.

All NCSML staff, volunteers, and visitors are required to wear a mask while they are in the building. The NCSML will provide masks to anyone who does not have one. Please practice social distancing and follow our detailed foot trafficking pathways for each visitor. Hand sanitizer stations will be throughout the entire building and please practice CDC recommended guidelines: wash hands often, avoid close contact with others, cover your mouth and nose with a mask, cover coughs and sneezes and stay home if you are feeling unwell, showing any COVID-19 related symptoms and have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Hody 2021 is subject to change. This event may be cancelled at any time due to city, county, state, and national public health recommendations, guidelines and proclamations.