King's Ride

King's Ride

Open all your senses to the rich charm of the King's Ride!

The Ride of the Kings from Moravian Slovakia is a unique tradition in the Czech Republic which is included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list. You can experience it during the last weekend in May in several villages and towns in Moravian Slovakia and Haná. Only in Vlčnov, where it has a tradition dating back more than 200 years, is it held every year.

The origins of this tradition are diverse, but the most famous legend is that King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary fled from King Jiří z Poděbrad of Bohemia with his entourage; on the way, he wore a girl's dress, covered his face with a ribbon, and held a rose in his mouth so as not to be recognized. He wore a girl's dress, covered his face with a ribbon, and held a rose in his mouth.

The present king is played by a young boy, also with a rose in his mouth and a ribbon around his head. He enters the village on a white horse, while the "attendants" dance and attract the attention of the onlookers and offer their gifts. The whole village is then immersed in a festive atmosphere, and you get the chance to see the gorgeous traditional costumes that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Color and Food

The King's Ride is a true carnival celebration where you can experience firsthand the vibrancy of the Moravian Slovakia. The main parades and festivals are usually held on Sundays, but the town will be bustling throughout the weekend with the cheerful notes of cimbalom (a traditional musical instrument popular in Central and Eastern Europe, similar to the yangqin) and brass instruments, and the food specialties are sure to satisfy your taste buds. Don't miss the festive pastries, which, if you're of age, can be paired with a slivovice of private plum brandy or wine from a local winery. And finally, you can buy some souvenirs at the craft market to take home.