Fancy ,,smacking'' a female's bum? Spend Easter in the Czech Republic!
Easter is the most important Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.
While in most parts of the world, Easter is celebrated by searching chocolate eggs, it's quite different in the Czech Republic. That's where I grew up and Easter was my least favourite holiday. Read on and you will find out why.
On Easter Sunday, daughters, mums and grandmothers have quite enjoyable day. They boil lots of eggs and decorate them afterwards. They can also bake ,,beranek,, - traditional Easter cake in a shape of lamb.
While girls and women stay at home, men and boys get ready for their morning fun. All they need is Pomlazka and a big empty bag.
Off they go and ring the bell at any house they want. Often they start with visiting relatives and friends. The door is opened by a female. She then turns around and while men sing Easter carols demanding treats, they are simultaneously smacking the woman’s bum with braided branches called Pomlazka. As a reward for the ,,hard work,'' men are given painted boiled eggs, chocolate eggs, ribbon for pomlazka or even alcohol if they are over 18.
The ,,spanking'' isn’t supposed to hurt, but sometimes the boys are enjoying it too much. From my own experience, using pillow as a bum protection is not a bad idea.
With every visit, men’s bags are fuller and fuller and women’s bottoms are getting redder and redder.
It all finishes at 12. The boy who dares to ring the bell after 12, leaves the house with nothing but wet. The girl has her bucket of cold water ready and is allowed to throw it at him. It happened to me once and I felt happy and satisfied :).
On a leap year (that happens to be now) the roles can be swapped. I ,,spanked'' some men's bums 8 years ago, 2004, but didn't get any sweets anyway. Not fair! Although the feeling was worth it..:)
Pomlazka is a whip made from willow branches. Willow is said to be the first tree that ,,wakes,, in spring, therefore thought to bring health and youth to anyone who is whipped with it.
The word Pomlazka is from omladit - make younger.
In the past, all the men made their own pomlazka as this skill was taught from one generation to another. The more twigs are used, the more difficult it is to braid one. Nowadays, most of Czech men can't be bothered and either buy it in the store, or use just one twig.
On Easter Monday, after whipping a woman, she decorates man's pomlazka with ribbon. The most favourite colour of ribbon is red - colour of life.
When I was a little girl, I hated Easter Monday. Pretending to be sick, hiding under the bed - I tried everything to avoid the ,,smacking..'' Being a girl with an older brother, I was always jealous of his bag filled with sweets! I had nothing but a red butt.. I thought that this tradition had to be started by some misogynist - a person who hates all women..and I wished I could get my revenge on him..
Being a grown-up, I look at it differently. The tradition is not that bad. Men get treats and women get a little ,,spank.'' What is better? Having one month chocolate supply or being whipped to stay young and healthy for another year? You decide....:)