I know I’m coming late and you may already have packed your suitcases to gone home. I get it. Those crazy Czech people were just running around the whole day, hitting women with tree branches and all. Calm down! Hitting women seems violent but it is actually quite a nice gesture. Let me explain :)
So, first of all, most of you may know where Easter came from. It was no little bunnies, chocolate, and colorful eggs. It was all about Jesus and resurrection. However, that is not what I want to talk about here. Truth be told, we aren’t really into this anymore. In the Czech Republic, Easter is rather a mixture of pagan traditions, so although the basis of Easter is rooted in Christianity, we don’t celebrate it much in this sense.
In my explanation, I would like to start with a date. It varies every year. The Easter Monday is always after the first spring full moon, this year it is April 17.
On this particular day boys and men go from house to house and whip girls and women (particularly their bottoms) with a willow stick (CZ: “pomlázka”). It is actually quite nice from them (if they do it gently, of course) because this ensures that the girls stay nice and healthy for the rest of the year.
And what do the girls do on this day? Just waiting for boys and men to come, you ask? No, their job is to prepare treats such as colorful eggs (CZ: “kraslice”), which are given to the boys in return for their whipping. Traditionally the eggs are preferred, they are symbols of fertility and a new life. However, chocolate or a shot of alcohol is also fine. Plus girls can splash boys with water as a revenge after noon.
These are only the basics but there is so much more funny stuff we do so feel free to google or ask ;)
Author: Pavlína Černá