In the past few weeks I have had dozens of views on my article about nudity in the Czech Republic. This PG article is all about the culture of being open about nakedness. Sorry to disappoint! This article is also about culture. While Czechs definitely have their kinky side, they use pussy willow whips to celebrate Easter not for BDSM.
Easter wasn’t always connected to religion in the Czech Republic. During the years when everything religious was suppressed by the USSR, Easter was converted to a holiday celebrating Spring. Since 1989, the holiday returned to its roots.
“In Czech, Easter is called Velikonoce, which comes from the expression velká noc meaning “great night” after the day in which Jesus Christ rose from the dead.”Eating Europe
The main day to celebrate Easter in the Czech Republic is Easter Monday. Easter Sunday is instead a day spent preparing for the festivities which includes women decorated eggs and men preparing their whips. The Czechs have fun names for several days leading up to this holiday.
In the North Moravia region it goes like this…
“Children finish school on Ugly Wednesday (Škaredá středa). In the evening of Green Thursday (Zelený čtvrtek), every boy in the village equips himself with a wooden rattle (řehtačka). The meaning of the rattling is to chase away Judas. The same procedure repeats on Good Friday (Velký pátek) and one more time on White Saturday (Bílá sobota) and rattle until they’re given money, which they then split between themselves.”My Czech Republic
But what about the whips?
An Easter pomlázka (from pomladit or “make younger”) is a braided whip made from live pussy willow twigs. People believe it to bring health and youth to anyone who is whipped with one. For centuries, boys have gone caroling and symbolically whipped girls on the legs in exchange for being given decorated eggs.
In the past, it was ironically less sexist and the farmer’s wife would also whip the livestock and everyone in the household including men and children. While it was traditional for men to make their own whips in the past, today they mostly buy them from stores and street vendors. Lazier men will sometimes just use a wooden spoon.
Easter Eggs (kraslice)
Many countries celebrate Easter by decorated eggs. I will be writing an article about the Ukrainian pysanky next week. Today, I want to tell you about Czech kraslice! These eggs are decorated to give to boys and men in the hopes that they will whip you and bring you good luck and fertility! They can be as simple or as complicated as you want.
“Different materials can be used, such as bee’s wax, straw, watercolors, onion peels, picture stickers. The most common designs are probably geometrical patterns, but you can also see flowers, leaves or snowflake patterns in a whole range of colors. There are no limitations to creating pretty, colorful eggs.”My Czech Republic
Czechs are proud meat eaters and most of their traditional meals involve a lot of meat. They even eat raw beef mixed in with raw egg – sounds gross but beef tartar is pretty darn amazing. Especially with deep-fried garlic bread. But anyway… while a lot of the world celebrates Easter by eating lamb, Czechs prefer to eat lamb cake. Here’s a great traditional recipe.
I was excited to discover that it’s quite easy to find a lamb cake form in the USA. We will get ours on Monday in hopes of creating our own delicious lamb cake!
When the world is not on hold due to coronavirus, Easter is a great time to visit Prague and check out the Easter markets. Old Town Square is always brightly decorated and there are farm animals to pet and feed. Read more about Old Town Square and all the other great places in Prague.
The feature image is taken from here.