easter as czechs do it

I was born in Czech Republic so traditions and language of this country play a big part in my children's life.


Last year we spend Easter in Czech Republic with relatives and when I got asked by my eldest if he could smack my bottom with “Pomlazka” again this year I decided that we would celebrate both British and Czech Easter. This was easily doable because main Easter celebration in Czech Republic is done on Easter Monday.

I'm not going to write an essay about the true meaning of easter as you can read up about it anywhere if you really want to. Instead I'm just going to brief you on some strange traditions Czech's do on this day and things we did at home with kids this year.

Egg painting goes without saying. As I was away the second half of March I didn't really have that much time for everything I wanted to do for Easter so I bought some egg paints that my youngest chose (sparkles all the way) as a quick fix. It ticked the box and the results were actually quite good.


Next onto baking. Traditionally Czechs bake Easter Lamb cake in place of real lamb meat which at one point wasn't as plentiful. But since I don't own a lamb cake mold we went without and instead made “Mazanec”. Basically it's a sweet bread traditionally made on Holy Saturday. Imagine one giant cross bun and you're somewhere near.

And finally the most weird and wonderful – the forementioned “Pomlazka” (from word pomladit = rejuvenate). It is a whip braided out of fresh willow sticks. Boys make those days before easter and on morning of Easter Monday they go around girls' and women's houses and spank their bottoms. Yes. You read this right. Women and girls stick their rears out of the front door in order to get spanked. The reasoning behind this is that the freshness of the willow sticks is passed onto the girls which is meant to keep them young and healthy for another year. On top of it all they give men and boys a little reward in form of hand painted easter eggs (traditionally), refresments and sweet treats for little boys. The spanking itself isn't painful, it is only symbolical – or is meant to be anyway. But should the boys and men make their appearance after 12pm they will be greeted with bucket of water which will be poured all over them.

So there you have it, brief insight into Czech Easter. Some love it (men), some hate it (women).



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