Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Monday

Easter Monday is a public holiday in the Czech Republic. And a very interesting day at that.

In the morning, guys go door to door to spank the girls on the legs with their pomlázka - a braided whip made from pussywillow twigs. An Easter carol asking for an egg is normally recited by the boys.

Hody, hody, doprovody,
dejte vejce malovaný.
Nedáte-li, malovaný,
dejte aspoň bílý,
slepička vám snese jiný.

In return, the girls are supposed to give colored eggs or chocolates to the boys and shots of slivovice (strong plum brandy) to the men. The girl then ties a ribbon on to the guy's pomlázka.

Most of the women I've spoken to really hate Easter Monday. The whippings are supposed to end at noon. However, this isn't always the case. And as the day goes on, with more and more shots of slivovice, sometimes the guys forget that the whippings are meant to be symbolic.

The tradition is that the youth and vitality of the twigs is passed on to the women during the whipping.

2 comments:

  1. Easily the biggest culture shock upon moving to the Czech Republic.

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  2. Hey, nice post.
    I love Easter because it is the demonstration of God that life is essentially spiritual and timeless.

    Hope you had a Egg-ceptional, Eggs-traordinary Easter !!!

    Nikki

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