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Easter traditions in Slovakia – whipping and water sprinkling

We Slovaks love our folk traditions. In winter we celebrate Christmas for almost half of the month and with the first spring day, the guys can't wait for Easter Monday to come. That is because on this special day they are allowed to visit girls' houses, whip them with wicker and sprinkle water on them. Sometimes, with “sprinkling” we mean water buckets. No, we are not kidding. Read on to get the full experience of how Slovaks celebrate their Easter traditions.

When do we celebrate Easter?

The date of Easter is not fixed and is changing every year. Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon in Spring. On this day according to Apostol's evidence Jesus Christ resurrected.

Easter – the celebration begins

Easter is the biggest Christian celebration. It's a symbol of Christ's Passion, his sacrifice end resurrection. Besides the religious part, Easter traditionally welcomes and celebrates the spring and abundance, harvest and health. In our article, we will give you a closer look at Easter traditions in Slovakia, which are with their whipping and water sprinkling quite unique.

Easter week

During Green Thursday people eat only green meals - spinach, kale and nettle to keep themselves healthy and vital. Our ancestors marked their animal shelters with garlic crosses. The crosses were said to keep the cattle safe from evil spirits. There is no possibility of hearing any church bells. The day symbolizes the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, so the bells remain silent.

 

During Good Friday the Christians commemorate Christ's Passion and crucifixion. No masses are taking place, it is prohibited to work in the garden, sow and plow. To stay healthy, people used to bathe in the creek before sunrise. The girls believed that after washing their hair it will grow faster and their skin will be smooth.

 

During Easter Eve, the feast for tomorrow is being prepared, because the 40 days fasting is over. We love our meals and don't mind taking extra time to prepare them in advance.

 

Easter Sunday is the day of abundance, joy, celebration, and festivities that stem from Christ's resurrection.

Easter Monday

Easter Monday is the day when all the fun begins. Young guys are visiting the houses of young girls, whip them with fresh-cut decorated wickers and sprinkle water on them. The more guys come to the girl's house, the prouder she should be. The whipping should give the girls strength, health, and abundance throughout the whole year.

 

In the villages, the guys love to throw water buckets on the girls or simply throw them into the creeks, if there is one close by. The water symbolizes health, beauty, and youth.

 

After all the whipping and water sprinkling is done, believe it or not, the guys will get a sweet treat, money or even a common meal with the girl's family as a reward. In the evening everybody gathers at a local party and celebrates till the morning.

Easter menu

Preparations for the Easter menu begin days before the actual celebration. The Easter menu is always very festive. The courses depend on the specific region, but you can find hard-boiled eggs, potato salad, smoked meat, and sweet dishes on every table. Some families bake their own Christmas bread called vianočka, in eastern regions, people bake hrudka and in other regions a cake called Pascha. The most traditional is a sweet cake in the shape of a little lamb. Tasty home-made alcohol can't be missing on the Easter table either.

 

Many traditions have disappeared over time. The whisking and water sprinkling remain as a nice memory of Slovak folklore. Even though this year's Easter celebrations will be different for many of us due to the current situation, we wish you many happy moments of whipping and water sprinkling in your household.

 

 

Credits:

Text: Denisa Dee

Photo credit:

Easter and flowers
Photo by RitaE  from Pixabey

Cover photo (Easter eggs)
Photo by adonyig from Pixabey

 

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