Easter is a celebration of spring in the Czech Republic and there are many fun rituals and food surrounding the holiday. Easter Monday (this year April 25) is a public holiday. Besides a visit to the Easter markets, or taking in an Easter concert, read up on some other local customs.
If you visit an Easter market, or practically any shop, you will see braided twigs topped with colorful ribbons. These are known as “pomlázkas” and have a definite, if not fully embraced, use. Traditionally on Easter Monday, men and boys would spend the day going from house to house singing a little poem and “whipping” the women of the household. The woman would reward this questionable behaviour with a painted egg or small chocolate for the boys and a shot of plum brandy or other alcohol for the older whippers. While still tradition in smaller villages, and done for fun practically everywhere, you needn’t fear a random whipping wandering Prague’s streets. The ritual is said to celebrate fertility.
The Easter meal usually includes a special spring vegetable soup and dressing made of nettles. Other sweeter treats include a lamb-shaped cake, sweet buns, gingerbread-type cookies and sweet rolls glazed with honey.
Photos courtesy of CzechTourism