With Easter just around the corner, we decided it’s the right time to highlight a few of the greatest and most popular Czech Easter traditions
Kraslice, also known as a hand-painted and decorated egg, is one of Easter’s most famous symbols. There are many ways to paint an egg, depending on the skills and instruments of the craftsmen. For example, the most common materials used are beeswax, straw, hay, watercolors, onion peels, and picture stickers. As for designs, some of the go-to patterns are geometric, flowers and leaves, and snowflakes. There are no limits to the color scheme, so you can get as creative as you wish! Fun tradition: girls give their decorated eggs to boys who whip them on Easter Monday. What is more, a national Easter egg contest is held around the Czech Republic during Easter time, so feel free to participate.
Pomlázka is a braided whip made with the help of pussy willow twigs. It is used by boys to whip girls on the legs. This should bring health, fertility, and youth to anyone who is hit with pomlázka. In the past, pussy willows were also used by the farmers’ wives to whip the livestock and bring prosperous lives to those in the household. Nowadays, you can buy pomlázka in any store around the country.
Did you know that Easter is associated with the color red? It represents health, joy, and happiness. That is why you can see plenty of eggs painted red at the Easter markets. Some people associate it with the beginning of spring, the energy of a new life. During Easter, you can see people wearing red clothes, symbolizing good health and happiness.
For three days of the Holy week, groups of boys would go around the village and shake a wooden rattle (řehtačka). That would scare off Judas, the apostle who (according to the gospels) betrayed Jesus. On the third day, also known as the White Saturday, boys would stop at homes and make noise. This means that they are waiting for the present – in most cases, money will stop all the annoying noise they are making.
Easter’s annual food, which was traditionally served throughout the centuries, is baked lamb, rabbit, or goat. In Christianity, lamb is associated with the Lamb of God and Jesus Christ. It was a symbol of a blessing in the south that would help travelers find their way through the forest. It has been replaced with gingerbread (beránek), which can be baked or bought in different stores around the country. In addition to this, you can find several other things on the table – eggs, sweet yeast bread with rum-soaked raisins and sprinkled with almonds (mazanec), gingerbread, coffee cake (babovka), and homemade plum brandy (slivovice).