Customs & Traditions Culture & Science Holidays Easter

Czech Holy Week: Grey Tuesday

There’s not much known about the traditions of the Grey Tuesday. Compared to the later days of the Holy Week Tuesday – just like the Blue Monday – is an outsider.

Grey Tuesday bears the name of the ashes. When we look at the liturgies, the Blue Monday and Grey Tuesday didn’t have any great significance, there were no special church ceremonies. However, it did have a significance for the housewives and house staff in general. After the rest on Blue Monday the spring cleaning started on Grey Tuesday. Our ancestors believed that they could get rid of malicious spirits and negative energy by wiping all the spiderwebs and in general everything had to be cleaned. Windows were washed, sometimes the whole cottage was whitewashed.

The fasting period, although almost over, continued and the housewives faced the difficult task of cooking from the very little ingredients left – usually potatoes, hulled grain and peas.

Sometimes, this Tuesday is also called Yellow Tuesday. One theory says that it’s simply due to the confusion between the German words grau (grey) and gelb (yellow), another theory says that the day was uncommonly also called yellow because when the windows were finally clean, the sunshine could enter the house.



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