Den Václava Havla: Czech Legs Galore

Den Václava Havla: Kratke Kalhoty

Source: Aktron / Wikimedia Commons.

Expect to see a lot of Czech citizens showing a bit of leg tomorrow. Nope, there won’t be a heatwave. On December 18. 2012 thousands of Czechs pulled up their pants a few inches in loving memory of Vaclav Havel. And history will repeat itself on wednesday this week. Why?

Den Václava Havla

Frank Zappa & Waclav Havel. CC /

There are a lot of reasons why Havel’s legacy is commemorated – especially by the Czech youth. Not only was he competent as president (which none of his successors seem to be). He was a talented playwright. He was a nice guy. He was involved with one of those rare peaceful but successful revolutions. Is there anything bad that could be said about him? Not really. To be fair, he did smoke a lot. But he peaked during a time when basically everyone on top was smoking like there was no tomorrow: Helmut Schmidt. The Marlboro cowboy. The Camel camel. OK. Stawp. I’ve got no idea what I’m talking about here. Better leave it to the pros:

We think that Václav Havel is one of the most significant Czechs in our history. We perceive his legacy with the same importance as those of T.G. Masaryk and Charles IV. Václav Havel should not fall into the category of an ordinary statesman.We were looking for a way to honour the memory of Václav Havel, in a way that would be distinctive, memorable and simple so that it can be followed by the largest number of well-wishers. We were inspired by “Towel Day” in honour of Douglas Adams. Each year, the memory of the late author is honoured by thousands of people around the world when they carry a towel, a symbol of his most famous book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. We were therefore looking for similarly distinctive gesture to honour Václav Havel’s legacy. We were inspired by an episode from the beginning his presidency, when he appeared in public several times wearing noticeably short trousers. Havel was often interviewed about it and he regarded the episode as quite humorous.
On Václav Havel Day, 18.12.2013, we ask you to honour his memory by rolling up your trouser legs.
We believe that we have found a gesture that can be followed by everyone. A gesture that is humorous, non-violent but significant and perhaps even very Czech like. It can be easily explained, you can support the initiative at any time throughout the day, and if you are reminded by someone else wearing rolled up trouser legs.
If you are one of Václav Havel fans, join “Trousers Day”, spread this information around and continue to be proud that the Czech Republic is home to Václav Havel.


On December 18th roll up your trousers for Den Václava Havla!

Den Václava Havla