Easter special – our traditions, food and finally Easter whipping on Monday.
This part will be about how Easter is celebrated in our country. I’m not going to talk about what each day means from a Christian point of view, because I’m sure you all know that. I will tell you how this holiday is celebrated in the country where 80% people are atheists.
Easter basically starts for us on Good Friday, which is a state holiday and most people don’t have to go to work. It starts with cleaning and decorating apartments and houses. The next phase is baking and cooking.
No one can imagine Easter without a lamb, which is usually baked from a curd dough and decorated with a ribbon. In Christianity, the lamb is a symbol of Jesus Christ because he was the scapegoat for the salvation of the world.
Another traditional Easter sweet is so called „Mazanec“. It’s a very simple thing – sweet sourdough buns with raisins and almonds. The recipes are passed down from generation to generation, and the oldest surviving ones date back to the 16th century. In earlier times, these buns were distributed for Easter to the poor. Similar buns are baked especially in the Anglo-Saxon countries to welcome spring.
Easter stuffing. Very simple – soak older pastries in milk, add butter, eggs, smoked meat cut into cubes and especially fresh young nettles steamed with hot water and sliced. Put everything in the oven and bake for about half an hour. Great with beer and wine!
Eggs are being painted on Easter Sunday. Those of us who cannot do it that well, usually color boiled eggs in various colors that can be found in the store. But we also have professionals here who know various techniques for coloring eggs from wax to scraping and more and more.
The most important day of Easter for us is Monday, when boys go out whipping girls. But let’s start from the beginning.
It all starts a few days before Easter Monday, when the boys start looking for a pomlazka. Pomlázka is a long stick made of willow branches. Some boys make it themselves, but most of them buy it at Easter markets or in the store.
So now it comes – on Easter Monday’s morning you can see groups of boys, men or even elderly men with these Easter sticks. They go from house to house and whip girls, women, grandmas – just all females. In return, they get eggs and, of course, if they are 18+, something stronger – usually a shot of plum brandy. It doesn’t look like fun being whipped by ‘pomlazka’, but I have to say it’s a good thing for us women because it means that we will be beautiful and young forever. So we actually want boys to come and whip us. We just have to endure it once a year for beauty.
And how will this end? Usually all the guys meet in a local pub and this is officially the end of Easter.
Every year we have various competitions about who will make the longest pomlázka. The record is still held by the small town of Biskupice. Their pomlazka reached a length of 101 m (331 feet) and it took 21.5 hours to make it. Over eight hundred willow twigs weighing 200 kg (440 pounds) were used.