Experience the Czech Easter like a local!
6.4.2017 | seolight
This year, the Easter Monday will be on the 17th of April. As it is a remembrance day of the resurrection of Jesus, it is one of the two most important Christian holidays. In the Czech Republic it also marks the arrival of spring and it is accompanied by many traditions and folklore events.
One of the most symbolic parts of the holiday is the so-called osier stick which is made from willow branches and is decorated with ribbons. On Easter Monday men go around their neighborhoods and use them to whip women while singing traditional songs. This is supposed to make the women appear younger. In exchange, they give them colored eggs which symbolize a new life. The men are often accompanied by children who receive sweets in addition to the Easter eggs. For them, going around the houses at Easter is similar as trick-or-treating in America in many ways. In certain parts of the country women tend to take revenge in the afternoon by pouring cold water on them. There are also typical dishes which include lamb or rabbit meals. The children also enjoy chocolate and cakes in the shapes of these animals.
A great way to enjoy these celebrations both as a tourist and a local is to visit the open-air markets. The biggest two are located in Prague’s most important squares – the Old Town Square and the Wenceslas Square. You can taste the traditional food, buy an osier stick, some Easter pastry, willow products and much more. The one in Wenceslas Square also offers performances of various genres of music, including folk songs. The one in the Old Town Square has an Easter birch which is the main decoration of the markets. It also offers an exposition of an important Czech illustrator, Josef Lada, a huge variety of Czech cuisine and demonstrations of numerous crafts. This year they have been opened on the first of April and will be there until the end of the month, so if you will be visiting the Czech Republic in the near future, you should definitely go and see them.
In case you decide to explore other parts of the country as well, you cannot miss the markets at one of the most beautiful castles in the Czech Republic, Sychrov. It is an hour away from Prague near the city of Liberec. Unlike those in Prague, the one by the Sychrov Castle
You might be surprised at how the Czechs value this holiday when you see pictures of eggs and rabbits all around the state but once you understand its tradition and take part in the celebrations, you will know why.
Author: Tereza Zoumpalova Photo: R. Klochuryak
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