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Around Bzenec Oak Forest


The Ride of the Kings takes place in spring. This folk custom is still observed in Hluk, Kunovice, Vlcnov, and Skoronice here in the Moravian Slovakia region. Similar ceremonial rides are held in Switzerland, Germany, and Poland. Originally, the Ride of the Kings was probably a symbolic rite of passage ritual for young unmarried men. However, it also contains features of Pentecost (Whit Sunday) traditions and it clearly reflects a local legend of the king Mathias Corvinus who had lost a battle and was fleeing the country in disguise, trying to avoid capture by the victorious enemy.

In the past, true to the legend, army recruits were riding in the ceremonial procession. These days also older men take part. They are there to protect the King – a young boy dressed in women’s traditional costume. The procession starts on the village green. First, the riders have to seek an official ceremonial permission to ride through the village from the local mayor. Then they can set on their ride, stopping to chant short rhymes and make funny comments. Their performances are rewarded by small gifts “for the King” (wine, refreshments, or money).

The Skoronice Ride of the Kings can be seen once in 4 years during the “Slovacky rok” (The Moravian-Slovakia Year) folklore festival in Kyjov (e.g. in 2011) and once every 10 years directly in the village of Skoronice.

GPS position

N 48° 58.711', E 17° 9.910'



Vzdělávací a informační středisko Bílé Karpaty, o.p.s.
Marie Petrů
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