Next to Christmas, Easter is the biggest celebration here in Czech. Although there a number of Christians in the Czech Republic, its is not a serious religious celebration. Easter is now limited to the beginning of spring since during the Communist era, its religious connotations were suppressed.
The other day my husband asked me to buy a whip for my son. Yes, a whip(pomlázka). Not to whip him, but to whip me. It is a long held tradition over here for men/boys to whip the women during Easter. It is believed that whipping chases away illnesses and bad spirits and bring health and youth for the rest of the year to anyone who is whipped. In return, girls reward boys with a painted egg, or a candy.
Since it will be our first Easter here, we are celebrating it with my husband’s family. I do not know how to make a whip or hand-paint eggs so I bought them from the Easter market. Easter markets are also very popular over here. Like Christmas markets, you get to see crafts and food items sold in the stalls. The atmosphere is generally festive and both locals and foreigners flock these markets.
In my husband’s family, boys outnumber girls. I expect a lot of whipping and a lot more eggs. When my husband told me about this tradition, I thought it was weird. It gets even weirder when Easter Sunday is actually celebrated on Monday.