Czech Easter – České Velikonoce

Hello, dear readers and learners,

Today’s text is about a spring holiday – Easter. And more specifically – Czech Easter.

How is Easter celebrated in the Czech Republic?
Before I start, a little heads up – a rather peculiar story which might be considered slightly antifeministic and politically incorrect is coming up.

On the Easter Monday, in the morning, every man is supposed to weave a stick from freshly cut willow branches. The stick is called “pomlázka.” The name comes from the verb “omladit” which means “to make younger.” When the stick is finished, it is usually decorated with ribbons and prepared for the action. The man with such an instrument is supposed to visit women in his family, he might expand it to female friends or neighbours as well, and whip them so they would stay young and healthy. At least the next year.

 

But it is not all. During this procedure, the man should recite an Easter carol, in Czech called: “velikonoční koleda”. There are several of these Easter carols available to recite and they can also vary a region to region.

 

👈 You can see the text and hear the part of the most popular one in the video.

If the man does everything as the tradition says, he should be rewarded by the woman who became young and healthy again because of his intervention. The reward generally consists of painted eggs, something sweet designed in an easter manner – in shapes of sheep, bunnies, eggs and chicken or with a pattern of them and often a bottle or a can of beer or another alcohol. Also the woman should have prepared something stronger to drink if a man wants to refuel a little by a shot and some homemade Easter pastry.
Men should manage to “make women young and healthy” until 12 PM. In some regions, the roles in the afternoon swap and women go to whip men. It’s not that widespread, though, so generally the main Easter events usually end on Monday at the midday.

Finally, let’s briefly talk about a few typical pieces of pastry.

Firstly, it’s “velikonoční beránek” – “an Easter Lamb” which is a cake similar to a sponge cake made without filling in a shape of a lamb. The cake is possible to cover and decorate with frosting, chocolate coating or just powder it with sugar. Some people add small dark dried fruits or nuts to create eyes and as the last step they tie a ribbon around its neck.

Another traditional piece of bakery is a sweet bread called “mazanec.” It has a round shape like a bread but it is slightly sweet compared to bread. It is usually baked with some raisins inside and almonds or pieces of almonds on the top. It is eaten sliced with butter, jam or honey.

The last piece of pastry mentioned in this text is “velikonoční jidáši” – “Easter Judases”. These are small pieces of pastry made in various shapes generally resembling the rope Judas hung himself after he betrayed Jesus. The dough is similar to one used for “mazanec” just thicker and the final products are covered in honey.

Of course, different people stick to different traditions and the particular traditions may vary from region to region or even family to family.

However, I believe, we covered more or less those basic ones.

Thank you for reading and Happy Easter!

🐣 Veselé Velikonoce 🐣