Jan Hus Day takes place every year on July 6 to honor the life and death of this Czech theologian and philosopher. Jan Hus was a Church reformer and the inspiration of Hussitism, which is a Czech Proto-Protestant Christian movement that follows his teachings. Although this holiday lacks any major events or traditions there are several festive ceremonies organized by the Czechoslovak Hussite Church. ‘HusFest’ is a specific festival that is centered around Hus and his hometown of Husinec and includes numerous types of performances and activities. People also see this day as a time to be charitable toward others, with a long-standing tradition being to collect food and redistribute it to the homeless in the major cities.
History of Jan Hus Day in Czech Republic
Jan Hus was born in Husinec, Bohemia. He was born into poverty and chose to train for the priesthood as a means to overcome life’s hardships. Early in his life, he traveled to Prague where he supported himself by singing and serving in churches. He soon completed his studies proving himself as a competent priest and began preaching in Prague. Jan Hus was known for his opposition to various aspects of the church which included their views on ecclesiology, simony, the Eucharist, and other theological topics.
In 1409 during the reign of Pope Alexander V, he was excommunicated and spent the next two years living in exile. Hus was asked to attend the gathering of the Council of Constance and present his views. He was immediately arrested when he arrived. He was jailed and refused to recant his views when asked by the council. He was burned at the stake for heresy on 6 July 1415. He sang Psalms while he was burning.
The Hussites, who were followers of his teachings, included most of the Czech population of the Kingdom of Bohemia. They refused to elect another Catholic monarch and defeated five consecutive papal crusades between 1420 and 1431 in what became known as the Hussite Wars. In 1436, the conflict ended between the Utraquist Hussites and the Catholic Council of Basel. The formation of the Basel Compacts allowed Bohemia to practice its version of Christianity. Years later almost 90% of the inhabitants of Czech followed the Hussite teachings.
Jan Hus Day in Czech Republic timeline
Hus begins teaching at the University of Prague.
Hus is promoted to dean of the philosophical department, and a year later he becomes a rector of the university.
Hus is appointed a preacher at the Bethlehem Chapel.
The condemnation of Hus takes place in the presence of the assembly of the Council of Constance.
The Basel Compacts are signed.
Jan Hus Day in Czech Republic FAQs
What is Jan Hus remembered for?
He was the leader of the Czech reform movement of the 15th century.
What were Jan Hus beliefs?
Hus advocated for a higher level of morality among the priesthood. He also believed in preaching and Bible reading in the common language, and for all Christians to receive full communion.
Do Hussites still exist?
The Czechoslovak Hussite Church claims to be the modern successor of the Hussite tradition.
How to Observe Jan Hus Day in Czech Republic
Read his teachings
Research Hus's teachings and expand your knowledge about his life. You will then be better able to honor this man.
Collect food for the homeless
Collect food and distribute it to the homeless. It is in line with Hus’ teachings and practices.
Celebrate Hus by learning Czech. As Hus was also a linguist and considerably influenced the shape of the Czech language.
5 Facts About Jan Hus
He was a writer
When in exile he wrote to his followers as a means to communicate whilst absent, he wrote books, tracts, lectures, sermons, and personal letters.
He believed in women's rights
Hus advocated for women and let them preach.
He influenced Martin Luther
Hus's works continue to influence many great leaders, most notably Martin Luther.
He has a memorial built
The Jan Hus memorial is in Old Town Square in Prague and was built in 1915.
He has a statue in New York
The Jan Hus Statue in New York was the first officially dedicated memorial to honor a foreigner in the U.S.
Why Jan Hus Day in Czech Republic is Important
It is an interesting story
The history of Jan Hus is interesting and riveting to follow. It is good to learn about people who have impacted their community positively.
He was not afraid to stand his ground
Jan Hus was outspoken and opinionated. He was not afraid to go against popular opinion in favor of his ideals.
His Hus’ death influenced the Reformation
Even after his death, he continued to influence the Church and its ideologies. Not many people get to leave behind that kind of legacy.
Jan Hus Day in Czech Republic dates