Easter Monday
Holidays Easter Customs & Traditions Culture & Science

Czech Easter: Easter Monday

Easter Monday (Velikonoční pondělí) or also Red Monday (Červené pondělí) is the culmination of all the folk celebrations around Easter.

Easter Monday
М. Gardavská.

Probably the most known tradition which comes from the 14th or 15th century is koledování (or mrskut, tatarovačka, šupačka, šmigust) and takes place before noon. Boys made their willow whips (in Czech pomlázka, mrkačka, šlehačka) on White Saturday and now they walk around the village chasing the girls and whipping their bottoms. This supposedly transfers the freshness of the willow branches to the girls and keeps them young and beautiful. In return, the girls give the boys the colored eggs from Easter Sunday and a ribbon for their whip. The boys should say one of the Easter rhymes while whipping:

“Hody, hody do Provody,
dejte vejce malovaný,
nedáte-li malovaný,
dejte aspoň bílý,
slepička vám snese jiný.
Za kamny v koutku,
na vrbovým proutku,
proutek se ohýbá,
vajíčko se kolíbá,
proutek se zláme,
vajíčko z něj spadne.
Vajíčko se odkulí,
do strejčkovy stodoly,
vajíčko křáp, slepička kdák,
panímámo, máte mi ho dát!”

Nowadays this tradition is still kept, in some places more alive than in others. Sometimes the whole village participates, other times it’s just friends visiting their friends and some times girls just decide not to open the door.

What some don’t know, is that not only is there no whipping once noon comes but also in many regions girls “take their revenge” and it’s their turn to keep the boys fresh and young, just not whips but with buckets of cold water. Even before that – but that is a forgotten tradition now – the next day was called Tuesday of Revenge and the whipping process happened again but this time it was the girls whipping the boys.

Antoš Frolka, from Antoš Frolka, Reproduced Paintings by Jiří Pajer

A less known tradition is that of women who desired to get pregnant – they burried eggs in the corners of the stables and fields.

Easter Monday was the day when young men came to ask for the hand of their chosen ones. Of course, the marriage had to be negotiated ahead, specifically on the fourth Sunday of the Lent that was called Družební neděle.

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