The 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which saw the fall of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe, will feature leaders from across the region meeting to celebrate this historic occasion together.
Underlining the importance of the occasion, The Czech Republic and Slovakia will symbolically reunite as Czechoslovakia to celebrate the anniversary.
This year, the Visegrad Four (V4) countries of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, are expected to mark the occasion together in a show of unity.
The main celebrations will be held on Nov. 17. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is to host his V4 counterparts in Prague. In the morning, the V4 prime ministers will meet in the Prague National Museum to open an exhibition dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
“The grand opening will include videos and speeches by all prime ministers along with German Bundestag Chairman Wolfgang Schäuble,” said Tünde Barth from the Czech Government Office.
After the event at the National Museum, the leaders of Central European governments will move to Kramář’s Villa, the official residence of the Czech prime minister, to have lunch with Babiš.
Personalities from various fields are invited, such as Czech neurologist Martin Tolar, who founded a company developing a cure for Alzheimer’s disease in the United States.
After lunch, the prime ministers will move to Bratislava, where Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini is hosting a gala dinner.
The 30th anniversary of the fall of communism will also be celebrated on the streets of cities across the Czech Republic. Prague’s Národní třída, which is one of the symbols of the clash of peaceful demonstrators with totalitarian police forces, is to be the center of the celebrations. This avenue will host a series of concerts, theater performances, author readings, and lectures.
The event is aimed to thank the people at the time for the peaceful protests that helped to overthrow the communist regime.
The Moravian metropolis Brno is also planning commemorative, educational, and cultural events. Many Czech cities have prepared a special program to coincide with celebrations in Prague. For example, in some of them, church bells will ring symbolically at 5:11 p.m.
Leading up to the main event, President Miloš Zeman is also set to visit Bratislava already on Nov. 16 at the invitation of Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová. Both presidents will open a Czech House in the Slovak capital, a cultural center that Zeman has long sought to establish.