Easter is one of the major Christian holidays and after Christmas the second most popular celebration accompanied by various traditions and customs. Easter is associated with the spring, the nature is awaking from a long winter sleep, everything around is colorful and blooming and the first Sunday after the spring full moon we celebrate the Easter. Have you ever heard about the crazy Easter customs in Czech republic (also in Slovakia)? Boys are whipping girls with Pomlázka (from the word ,,pomladit” – make younger) and pour a backet of cold water on them and for that they even receive the eggs and sweets. Yes, Easter Monday is hated by the women and loved by man. Girls get splashed and whipped to stay healthy and beautiful in the next year. Especially in the villages you can see the boys going in their national costumes from house to house to whip girls. Girls reward men with painted eggs, chocolate bunnies, money and offer them some refreshment (mostly the shot of Slivovice). So you can imagine how they look like after all visits….
Easter holidays are preceded by the Holy week, which commemorates the life of Jesus, his death and resurrection. We celebrate for 5 days – from Thursday till Monday. Each day has its name and importance – Green Thursday, Big Friday, White Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. The Good Friday is the last day of fasting (which lasts 40 days) and when the fast is over, we started to prepare everything for the celebration. Ladies are preparing Easter decorations, especially painted eggs called ,,Kraslice”. There is a lot of techniques for the decorating eggs, it depends on your creativity.
Here you have few tips:
- Coloured eggs – simply mix the colour with the hot water, if you want to make it more interesting, make the eggs in multiple shades – leave some parts longer in the coloured water. Also you can colour eggs with the natural materials – for the green colour use the peels of garlic, parsley or grass, curry for the yellow, for the orange, red and purple use the onion, red cabbage, wien or blueberries and coffee for the brown colour.
- Curtain – wrap the eggs in the curtain, colour them, then remove the curtain and see the result
- Crochet – If you know this technique put the shirt on your eggs
- Tie – If you have some old tie, wrap the egg and dip in the boiling water with vinegar
- Sweet egg – put the glue on the egg and roll in the sprinkles.
For the decoration we collect the branches of Zlatý déšť (Golden rain) and hang kraslice and other decorations on them. As well as any other celebration there is a lot of food….the Easter feast is associated with the symbol of the lamb. The old custom was to roast the lamb, but today the lamb meat is scarce, that is why people substitute this with a cake of an identical shape from sweet yeast dough. Other Easter dishes are Easter cake, eggs, as a symbol of new life and rebirth, minced meat, bread and wine.
Boys have to prepare a special handmade whip, called pomlázka, and decorate it with colored ribbons at the end. This whip consists of eight, twelve or even more willow twigs, they are ussually from half a meter to two meters long.
How to bake your Easter lamb?
Ingredients – 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, 20 dkg of sugar, 1 glass of milk, 14 dkg of butter, 35 dkg flour, 1 pack of baking powder. Preparation – prepare the form for the lamb (use the oil and breadcrumbs), eggs – separate the yolks from the whites, mix the sugar with the butter and yolks. Add the lemon zest, milk, flour with baking powder and stiff egg whites. Mix the dough lightly. Bake for 45 minutes and decorate the lamb (put the raisins as eyes and bow tied around his neck).
So boys, don´t forget to whip all girls around you to be healthy and girls, paint some eggs to be prepared to give them a reward.
In the Christian religion, the Easter egg is the most distributed gift on Easter Sunday; eggs are brought by the Easter bells.
Since the Holy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter) the Catholic church bells are silent, it is a sign of mourning. The popular tradition for the children said they left from Rome, and come back on Easter by bringing eggs they sow their passage. During the night they lay in the garden and in the morning the children make a “egg hunt” in their garden hoping to get all the chocolate eggs. Then at noon, people gather for a family meal.
Veselé Velikonoce – Joyeuses Pâques – Happy Easter!
Michaela and Cyrielle