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EASTER

16. února 2010 v 4:46 | Klevka |  ENGLISH THOUGHTS

Easter traditions

Easter traditios vary according to religion and geographical location.
Easter, like Christmas, has two distinctly different meanings to many people not only in Europe. For Christians, Easter is the most religious or sacred holiday of the year. It´s a period of time to remember the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ. Forty days before Easter Sunday, on Ash Wednesday, the period of preparations called Lent begins. That means, people give up e.g. eating meat or drinking alcohol.
Then, there is the Holy Week with its four important days - Palm Sunday, Maunday Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
On Good Friday, most churches hold mournful cervices to commemorate the crucifiction of Jesus Christ by the Jews - leaders of Jerusalem. Mostly no food is eaten.
Easter Sunday is a cheerful and glorious day - churches are decorated with colourful banners and Easter lilies and they hold services (often before sunrise) which are a joyous celebration of Jesus´resurrection from death.
Most people participate in secular habits of celebrating Easter as the symbolic beginning of Spring. Eggs, rabbits and baby chickins are the three symbols of new life or fertility as Spring approaches after the long winter. In western coutries, there is a habit for children to hunt for colloured eggs hidden in the garden or a park on Easter Sunday called Easter Day.

In our country, children have a lot fun on Easter Monday. Boys (often accompanied by their fathers and "equipped" with a bottle of perfume and a typical Easter stock whip) visit the girls in the neigbourhood or in their family from early morning till noon.
A day before, they plaited their own willow canes and decorated them with ribbons (or bought them in the Easter market) and now, they are whipping the girls (and their mothers) on their legs and bottoms with them. While whipping boys say various traditional rhymes called "koleda".
After they have poured perfume (sometimes water!) on the girls, they get some cakes, chocolate Easter eggs or painted eggs (some get even money) from them. The more "hamper" - eggs, chocolate, money or ribbons (tied on the cane) the boy gets, the luckier he is!
As for me and my family, we have always kept our traditional customs.
 

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