Articles

Czech Traditions: The Last Bell

In Czechs, Education & Science on May 7, 2008 by Petr Bokuvka

The last week of April and the first two weeks of May are the last three weeks high school seniors are “students” of their schools. So it is the time for them to collect some money for their going away parties. These unofficial parties take place with A LOT of alcohol: Czechs can legally purchase and drink alcohol when they are 18, which high school seniors are… So where do the students get the money?

They dress up in funny, ridiculous, or otherwise unusual costumes and they walk through the streets and, well, they ask pedestrians for money. Some are more inventive and they organize all kinds of performances, while others regularly beg while holding hats. Most commonly you would see male students dressed up as female characters, like prostitutes or nurses, which includes high heels and makeup.

The bigger the town, the more they collect, of course, as most people are not willing to contribute. Most usually the argument is “why should I give these kids money knowing they are going to use it on alcohol and get wasted?” Good point, I must say. 

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