Easter Traditions in Czech Republic
Easter, in Czech Republic and many other countries, is one of the most important Christian holidays and its celebration goes in this spirit. Many traditions and customs are connected with Easter and many of those have their roots in pagan times. In cities they are not held thoroughly these days, but in villages and regions with strong folklore traditions, for example Moravia, traditions and customs are kept alive.
Before the Easter days comes Holy Week or Passion Week, which reminds end of Jesus live – his death and resurrection. Each day in Passion Week has its name – Ugly Wednesday, Green Thursday, Great Friday and White Saturday. Among traditional customs associated with Holy Week is “departure of bells to Rome” – this week on Green Thursday bells chime for the last time and remain silent until Easter Sunday. On Green Thursday it’s also very common nowadays to drink green beer, which is prepared by many breweries.
Easter in Czech Republic is celebrated for two days – on Sunday and Monday. On Easter Sunday people celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Feast services take part in churches, Easter meals are sanctified (Easter lamb cake, bread, wine and cross bun). At home people eat meat, mainly ground combined with eggs and stuffing. Traditionally a nettle stuffing is consumed.
Easter Monday is a day, to which there is no special Christian feast and it’s more of a folk custom. It’s a day of feast and fun and more importantly Easter thrashing of girls, when men and boys whip women with “pomlázka” (Easter stick). This is so the girls remain fertile, healthy and merry for whole year. In return men are given painted eggs called “kraslice”. Every region has different ornaments. Today girls give away even chocolate eggs or any candy. Adult men are often welcomed with a shot of liquor, mainly slivovitz. But be aware in some places after noon girls can pour cold water over men.
Thrashing of girls, kraslice and Easter lamb are main symbols of Easter in Czech Republic.