I hope you all had a great and Happy Easter! My husband and I have just returned home from spending Easter at his mother's home. Here, in the Czech Republic, Easter is celebrated on both Sunday and Monday. Monday was a holiday here--most everything is closed for business on that day. It was pretty cold here, too...with snow and freezing rain in many parts of the country! We were all bundled up on the way to and from church...I looked like Nanook of the North with my furred hood on!
On our way out of church, on Easter Monday, we were met directly outside the church door by a group of young guys who were ready to beat we women with the pomlázkas! There must have been about 5 young men waiting for us!! My husband thought this was great...and he got outside before his mother and I, and then watched us get a "beating" from those guys! It was all done in fun, though one of those young guys was a bit too enthusiastic about beating us! When it was done, I gave them some small coins and they were happy!
While we were walking home, we saw similar groups of young guys going around with noise makers, baskets (for gathering their rewards for beating the ladies), and pomlázkas. They were all laughing and having great fun while the women and girls were trying to get away from a beating. It's quite a sight and is pretty fun.
Another Easter symbol and tradition is the baked lamb, called beránek, in Czech. The lamb is widely used as a symbol of new life and Spring, but is also well-known as a symbol for Christ--the Lamb of God. In the past, an actual lamb was roasted and eaten as part of the main meal on Easter. But nowadays, most families opt for a baked lamb--one that is really a cake. It's possible to buy the cake mold in a kitchen/pots and pans type of store. You can also buy a baked lamb at a bakery or sweet shop. They are cute, but their eyes are a little bit scary...they have white eyeballs, with a small brown pupil. The lamb ends up having a bit of a crazed look! Still, they are cute...and very good to eat.
It is amazing to be learning about these (new for me) Czech traditions. It is also meaningful for me as part of my family heritage is also Czech and Slovak. It is interesting to see how much or what has been passed down in my family from those who came to the US from the "old country." I am very much enjoying the adventure of living in this new "old country" called the Czech Republic...and learning about my own heritage in the process.
Well, that's all for now...have a great day!
(c) 2008 by czechoffthebeatenpath