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Celebrating Easter in the Czech Republic

photo:  (czechtourism.cz)

Like in other countries, Easter in the Czech Republic is one of the most important Christian holidays and is celebrated mainly in this context.

Easter is tied to a wealth of traditions and customs, some roots of which date as far back as Pagan times. The traditions have somewhat diminished in the city, but are still very vivid in the country and regions with strong folklore, e.g. Moravia.

Easter itself is preceded by Holy Week, which commemorates the climactic point of the life of Jesus Christ, namely his death and resurrection. The individual days in Holy Week bear peculiar names – Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday), Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The traditional customs connected to Holy Week include the “Departure of Bells to Rome” – on Maundy Thursday, bells chime for the last time and are silent until Easter Sunday.

Easter in the Czech Republic lasts two days – Easter Sunday and Monday. Easter Sunday is celebrated in the spirit of joy and delight in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Churches hold ceremonial services, Easter meals (lamb, hot cross buns, eggs, bread and wine) are blessed and families come together to feast. The traditional meals involve meat, especially minced meat in combinations with eggs or various meat fillings. Most people eat lamb at Easter.

Easter Monday is not associated with any special Christian festival, but rather with folk traditions. It is a day of mirth, a day when young lads whip young maids so that they are healthy and cheerful for the entire year to come. The Easter whip is made of braided willow twigs decorated with ribbons. As a reward, girls give boys decorated eggs called kraslice, i.e. painted Easter eggs. Every region boasts different ornaments. Nowadays, chocolate eggs are also very common. The decorated Easter eggs, whipping and the Easter Lamb are the main symbols of Easter in the Czech Republic.
Author: Romana Kuncová
Added: 04.04.2011

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