UWC Mahindra College monthly newsletter

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Easter in the Czech Republic

So our main celebration starts on Monday, which is the only day off school and work. But the preparation for it starts days before - girls are starting to dye eggs or bake a cake in the shape of a lamb. It is traditional to use red ribbons, so we put them around the lamb's neck or anywhere.

But all the fun starts with boys. Because one or two days before, they go out and find thin twigs of any length and start weaving them into a whip. Nowadays, people usually buy this whip called "karabáč" or "pomlázka" in the street, but it is best to make it yourself. Or they may be even more traditional and evil and go and find a juniper, which is a bush with small thorns (really small) and just take some twigs from that.

I am sure you are starting to guess what happens on Monday. Yes, it is true. Girls are waiting at home for boys to come, usually looking out of the window all the time. But as soon as they see a boy (or man) with a colourful whip with red ribbons coming to their house, they keep screaming and laughing, knowing what will come. They open the doors and boys start to beat them with the whip saying a rhyme about Easter at the same time. The idea is not to hurt the girl - although it may (and usually does) sting and hurt a bit ... or thorns! But the purpose of this is to keep girls healthy and beautiful. Sometimes it may happen that boys need to chase this girl around the whole house and garden, till they catch her. Sometimes they throw us into cold water or spray us with an enormous amount of perfume. At the end, we give the boy an egg or chocolate to show them that we are not angry and thank them for making us healthy for the whole year!

And that's how it ends. The tradition differs a bit in the countryside, where life is more rugged - there is no possibillity of being left out and not getting whipped there. People also sing songs, drink a traditional drink made from plums and so on. It is really fun! Although many people would think that it is horrible tadition and we all should save these poor women - when you are in the right spirit, you really enjoy Easter. (After midday girls can take their revenge and whip the boys and throw water on them, but no one really does that).

So that's it! And how is Easter in your country?


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