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Easter, the most important holiday for Christians, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is celebrated on the third day after his crucifixion. In Czechia, it is continued as a tradition that heralds the arrival of spring rather than a religious holiday.
The 40-day period before the Easter is known as Lent. To see the enthusiastic celebrations before Lent, check out my Masopust post.
There are several Easter markets in Prague. The most known one is at Náměstí Míru (Peace Square). Colourful eggs, Easter buns, decorative decorations, flowers and toys await visitors in these dazzling markets.
Special days during Easter week
The days leading up to Easter Monday are as below:
Ugly Wednesday (Škaredá středa), named for the day Judas betrayed Jesus,
Green Thursday (Zelený čtvrtek), which honors the Last Supper,
Good Friday (Velký pátek) commemorating the crucifixion,
White Saturday (Bílá sobota), the “Day of Light”, symbolizing Jesus’s resurrection,
Easter Sunday (Velikonoční neděle) the day for mass, and
Easter Monday (Velikonoční pondělí). (Source: expats.cz)
What to Cook for Easter?
There should be a special dish for every holiday, right? Since it is made once a year, these dishes, which remain on our palate, make the holidays more memorable.
Beránek, muffins in the shape of seated lambs. In Christianity, the lamb symbolizes Jesus Christ, who is believed to be innocent.
Velikonoční Nádivka, full translation Easter stuffed. A dish made with eggs and meat eaten on a Saturday evening at Easter.
Mazanec, Easter bread with raisins and almonds on top. If you want to try it yourself, click here to see the recipe.
Let’s take a look at three traditions in Czechia these days when elders are visited, families spend time together, delicious meals are cooked, and houses are decorated with the fragrant flowers of spring:
Thiny sticks (pomlázka): On Easter Monday, men hit women’s legs or buttocks with sticks tied with colored ribbons or papers—to ward off evil spirits and bring health, according to belief. Sometimes on top of that, cold water is thrown at women. This tradition is based on Pagan beliefs. Sticks that men used to weave from willow branches are now sold ready-made in both markets and flower shops. Like other foreigners, this tradition surprised me when I heard it for the first time. Today, it continues mostly in small towns and villages.
Easter Eggs (kraslice): Young girls present eggs, painted with different geometric or pastoral patterns, to young boys after pomlázka. The patterns and colors used have many meanings, for example, the sun represents wealth, the butterfly represents rebirth, and the red color represents health and strength. Over time, chocolate and slivovitz (plum brandy) was added as a present.
You can check out the Easter photos from the 1940s at the link below. At that time, folk artists participated in contests for the Easter egg:
Green beer (zelené pivo): Beer that I haven’t tasted since I arrived. A limited-edition is produced only for Easter at the Starobrno brewery in Brno, for the holy day called Green Thursday, when green vegetables are eaten.
Stay curious until the next post,
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