Easter belongs to ancient holidays celebrating the arrival of spring, the resurrection of Christ, and in addition the start of a new agricultural year. Many of the Czech Easter symbols are related to spring and most of all the beginning of new life.
Prague Easter: traditions and customs in the Czech Republic
Some of them are:
- Kraslice (Easter Eggs)
The kraslice or decorated egg is the most famous symbol of Czech Easter. Girls decorate Easter eggs to give them especially to boys on Easter Monday. There are many decorating techniques and some require a certain level of skill. A lot of materials can be used, such as bee's wax, watercolor, stickers. The designs can be geometrical, flowers or leaves.
- Pomlázka (Pussywillow)
Fresh Pussywillow twigs are braided with colourful ribbons, as a result you have a pomlázka. An Easter pomlázka comes from pomladit or "make younger" it has been used for centuries. On Easter Monday boys and men go caroling and symbolically whip girls and women with the pomlázka. Because according to tradition, the whipping is supposed to bring women beauty and youth all year.
Dousing a girl with water has a similar symbolic meaning as the pomlázka.
- Easter lamb cake
Czechs bake cakes in the shape of a lamb as a symbol of renewed life and the victory of life over death. It also symbolises Christ. When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he called: “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus appears in the role of the Redeemer, delivering people from sin so they can attain forgiveness and salvation. It is hard to tell from historical records whether the Easter lamb was made of meat or bread. In all likelihood, roast meat and sponge cake were both eaten.
All over the Czech Republic you will be able to enjoy the Prague Easter markets. In Prague more than 90 stalls around the squares of the city. You will find traditional Czech food, handcrafted souvenirs and many other things.