The town of Komňa continues to keep to this tradition of a carnival dance performance, which features 4 swordsmen who are accompanied by an entourage featuring a policeman, the law and other characters, most of whom represent traditional crafts workers (the parade features up to 70 different costumes). The carnival dance is performed in front of every house in the village and the entourage is accompanied by 5 musicians. The traditional 'pod šable' song is sung during the parade. The parade is followed by a carnival party, which has a climax at midnight when the swordsmen perform their last dance and handover their swords to their younger followers. The Komňa folk carnival is very popular and it is attended by people from throughout the local region. The local ensemble has performed several times at the festival in Strážnice and at the festival in Uherský Brod and also recently, the group has performed at the World Sword Dance Festival in Great Britain.
Folk Traditions in Komňa
Video - Fašank 2008:
On Three kings day groups of carolers wearing traditional costumes walk the village, wishing the residents a happy new year. Based on tradition, they write the initials of the three kings – Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar (C+M+B) – and the current year on the door of each house using sanctified chalk. As they go caroling from house to house, they sing the traditional carol "We three kings...".
On St. Francis and St. Joseph days, it was mostly children that used to parade through the village using pot lids and various other improvised implements, playing music and singing a traditional tune: "Pukaly lavice, pukaly stolice, pukaly aj dveří, Františko, Josefku otevři ...".
Although today children only rarely participate in this tradition, the local musicians regularly get together and play for all of the local Josephs on their name day.
Easter – On Green Thursday, when the bells would stop ringing, boys up to the age of 14 would go from door-to-door 'hammering'. They would walk the village shaking their rattles in the morning, at noon time, in the evening and at midnight. On White Sunday, the older boys, who are just about to graduate from school, would go from door-to-door, stopping at every house, rattling until they were given money which they could then divide up amongst themselves. While doing so, they would also sing a traditional Easter song: "Třetího dne stal spasitel všeho světa vykupitel, radujme se, veselme se aleluja". On Easter Monday, young boys, as well as older men, would go from door-to-door and symbolically whip the girls.
On April 30th, the 'draftees' erect a May pole at the local soccer field. Traditionally, the May pole is erected with the use of special wooden tools and it takes at least 50 strong men to put up the pole, which can reach a height of up to 30 meters.
Video – Raising of the May Pole
On St. James day – July 25th, the Komňa Feast takes place. On Saturday, festivities accompanying this traditional event are held at the local hunting grounds. A holy mass is held on the following Sunday, accompanied by music played by the local brass band. In the afternoon, the locals engage in various sporting events at the local sports grounds.
The Komňa Costume
Traditional Komňa dress – the Komňa costume – belongs among the 'Slavicko-Bojkovický' group of folk costumes. The local Komňa costume has the longest history of any belonging to this general group. It was commonly worn in Komňa as recently as 100 years ago. Today, it is worn on special occasions. The Komňa costume is used by the local brass band, KOMŇANÉ, and by the Světlovan folk group from Bojkovice.