Even though the Czech Republic is mostly an atheist country, we’re pretty big on certain holidays that originate in Christianity. Just like Christmas, Easter is a big thing. So, we’re going to take a break from Pav’s Japan coverage and tell you a bit about it.
In bigger towns, such as Prague, they have Easter markets, similar to the ones at Christmas. Everything is decorated in spring themes and people can walk around various booths, buying Easter decorations and food.
An important aspect of Easter traditions are the decorations. People usually decorate their homes in a spring theme – branches, flowers, Easter eggs (which can be quite elaborate), bows in vibrant colors. Yellows and reds are very prominent.
Food is a big part of the celebrations. People bake lamb, usually instead of meat they make a pastry.
This is actually the biggest day for celebrations and also the hardest to explain to our non-czech friends. Sunday is usually used for preparations for Monday, which is a national holiday and everybody gets the day off. Girls decorate eggs and boys make their pomlazka, which is made of braided twigs and decorated with bows. On Monday, boys walk around their villages or towns, door to door and lightly whip girls with their pomlazka while saying a poem. This is done to symbolica
lly ensure health and youth for the girls for the following year. As a reward, girls give the boy eggs that she decorated the previous day or chocolate (for adults, a shot of alcohol is also acceptable). It may sound odd to outsiders, but it is a part of the culture and history.
What do you think about Czech Easter traditions?