Liberation Day is a national holiday celebrated in the Czech Republic on 8 May each year. This is the same date as the celebration known as V-E Day, VE Day or Victory in Europe Day that is celebrated across much of Europe.
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As the names suggest, the day signifies the victory of the Allied forces against the Axis forces at the end of World War II in 1945. In particular, the Czech Republic celebrates Liberation Day as the day its people were freed from Nazi rule. The day was originally celebrated on 9 May, but this was changed in 1989 to 8 May. Some people call the holiday Liberation from Fascism Day.
On 8 May, it is a day of memorials and celebration in the Czech Republic. Many towns hold parades including at Karlovy Vary and Hradec Kralove and, of course, Prague. The president and prime minister join crowds at the National Memorial on Vitkov Hill to lay wreaths and observe a one-minute silence.
The people of the Czech Republic, especially in towns like Plzeň, also celebrate the holiday with concerts and fireworks. On this day, all schools and government offices are closed and most businesses.
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