Ride of the Kings, Vlčnov
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WE HAVE A KING, CHASTE BUT VERY POOR...
Every year, on the last Sunday in May, this call can be heard in the South Moravian village of Vlčnov. The Ride of Kings, a message for joy, happiness and beauty. You too can witness this unique display, at which our ancestor's heritage is shown through the beauty of folk art, dances, songs, music, picturesque costumes and folk customs of Moravian Slovakia.
In the 19th century, the practice of this custom could be evidenced in nearly all of Moravia. Today, its annual tradition is further developed only in Vlčnov. The ride or parade consists of a group of horse riders centered around a king carried on a white horse. The king is a juvenile boy dressed up in an old-fashioned woman's folk costume, his hands proudly placed on his hips and his lips pressed together to firmly hold a rose and thus symbolize taciturnity. At his sides, two adjutants (pageboys) are on horseback and protect the king by holding unsheathed sabers in their hands. Riding horses decorated with ribbons, the boys go around the town and chant witty verses to celebrate their king and ask for gifts on his behalf. The parade is led by an announcer calling out the words of an ancient message...