St Hedvika’s fair
The fair held every year to mark St Hedvika’s day has long been one of the most important events in the town’s calendar. Mass is followed by celebrations in the town centre. Originally the fair was held at Na Kamyncu, but in the second half of the 20th century the venue was moved closer to the town centre, and the fair now takes place around the wooden cottage known as ‘Na Fojtství’.
St Hedvika’s fair offers an ideal opportunity for family gatherings, and often relatives come to Mosty from far-flung countries.
The fair is known locally as ‘Jadwiga’ (the Polish form of the name), and features a variety of stalls and rides. A much-loved feature used to be the stalls run by Slovak traders who would offer ‘planets’ for sale. People used to buy these in order to find out what would happen to them during the following year. And of course Jadwiga would not be Jadwiga without the traditional sweets – delicacies made of honey and almonds, coconuts or gingerbread hearts.
Traditionally, the townspeople also used to look forward to the fair because it meant that the owners of the fairground rides would arrive in town. The ride-owners’ children were not allowed to miss school, so as soon as they arrived they used to join the lessons at the local school. The local children were keen to be friends with them because it meant they might be able to get rides for free. The most popular rides were chain carousels, roller coasters, ships, big rocking see-saws, and of course the shooting gallery.