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Czech Holy Week: Blue Monday

Holy Week is called pašijový týden or also svatý týden in Czech and it’s the last week of the 40 day fasting period. Each day of this week was given special names because of the very specific traditions. Let’s learn more about Blue Monday.

“Blue” is actually the name of the so called “Blue Mondays” which were Mondays on which people didn’t work. It’s a day of worship and honoring. People are supposed to be calm, collected and silent. Another theory says that the name is a literal translation of the German expression Blauer Montag which means a Monday on which one is hangover and unable to work (which was surely quite fitting also because people liked to drink a celebrate the night before knowing that they wouldn’t have to work the next day).

For school children and students the Blue Monday was the beginning of the Spring break. The name for vacation back then was vakace which sounded way more international than today’s word prázdniny.

In the morning we are supposed to be thankful for our lives and place wheat sprouts on the table as a gesture of gratitude. We also salute the sky and the weather.

In the mass the Gospel of Mary is read and Christians remember how she anointed the Lord’s feet with perfumed oils. Churches used to hang blue or purple canvases, you can still see this tradition in some of them. It is a very long tradition that started in the 12th century when the color blue was officially acknowledged as the color of Mary’s coat and the color of humbleness.

If you keep the Czech Easter traditions, use this day to rest because the upcoming two days of the Holy Week are dedicated to proper spring cleaning.

Learn more about Czech Easter traditions!

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