Easter in the Czech Republic

Under communism, the Christian understanding of Easter was suppressed in Czechoslovakia.  But even with the return of freedom, Easter remains a fun holiday, not a religious holiday.

Czech’s enjoy the days leading up to Easter Sunday—Ugly Wednesday, Green Thursday, Good Friday, and White Saturday— and then celebrate an Easter Monday. Eggs are dyed or decorated and several areas offer city Easter egg hunts.

czech-eggs.jpg.650x0_q70_crop-smart

On Easter Sunday, males prepare pomlázkas, woven whips made of pussywillow twigs, and then on Easter Monday “whip” girls on the legs, which symbolically chases away bad spirits and bring health and youth to the recipient. The girls in turn give the boys an egg and tie a colorful ribbon on the whip. The tradition is still upheld in fun, but the reward has been expanded to money or a shot of brandy. Along with this tradition is another—the dousing of a girl with water.

800px-Pomlázka

On the Easter menu you will find rabbit or goulash and dumplings, cross buns, and sponge cake lambs with icing,

Lamb spongecake

Judases (baked rope-shaped buns drizzled in honey) and divine grace (fried dough sprinkled with sugar).

Judas_Rope Buns
Judases in various rope shapes

 

By Blazej Pieczynski - originally posted to Flickr as Faworki: #021, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10288425
Photo by Blazej Pieczynski

On Easter Monday, eggs are used in one way or another to make the meal, symbolizing rebirth and new life. To wash is all down, the Czechs toast each other with spiced beer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s