Celebrating Easter in Prague and Beyond

From egg decorating to holiday baking and tips for Easter events and trips, how to celebrate Czech style

Expats.cz Staff Jason Pirodsky

Written by Expats.cz StaffJason Pirodsky Published on 24.03.2016 14:38:32 (updated on 24.03.2016) Reading time: 2 minutes

Forbes called it one of the most spectacular Easter celebarations in Europe but for those who are not yet familiar with the ins and outs of the Czech easter holiday, here is your Velikonoce (Czech for Easter) cheat sheet. 

Do you know your days of the Czech Easter week?

It all begins with Ugly Wednesday when schoolchildren start their holiday break; on Green Thursday boys arm themselves with traditional wooden rattles in an effort to scare off Judas. This is repeated on Good Friday and White Saturday (when our little noisemakers go door-to-door for gifts). On Easter Sunday eggs are painted; Easter Monday sees the main events: whipping by pomlázka and feasting.

Řehtačka / Wikipedia: Matěj Baťha
Řehtačka / Wikipedia: Matěj Baťha

About that whip: it may be a traditional spectacle that gets worldwide media attention every spring, but the Czech practice of whipping women with a bundle of willow twigs is beginning to feel a little outdated. We suggest having a go at making your own and using it for decorative purposes only (take a photo and send it to us if you manage)!

The Easter Markets, including a new one this year at Prague Castle, are now in full swing through April 3. Among our favorites is the quieter Náměstí Míru market, open until March 28. 

For an even more festive experience, head to the  Vyšehrad Easter carnival from March 24-28. Live music, a lively processional to the riverbank, arts and crafts workshops, and old-fashioned Easter dishes are slated.

Náměstí Míru / Facebook: České vánoční, velikonoční a masopustní trhy
Náměstí Míru / Facebook: České vánoční, velikonoční a masopustní trhy

And speaking of those Easter dishes, try our fail-proof Easter recipes for impressing your Czech friends and in-laws; we also like this instructional on coloring eggs the Czech way…with onion peels!

Not everyone is into cooking and, in fact, Easter brunch is becoming a Prague tradition. Some tips for Easter brunch spots include: La Boucherie & Bistrot M., Augustine Restaurant, Chateau St. Havel, Kalina Cuisine & Vins, and Argument restaurant. See full menus and more Easter dining tips here.

Chateau St. Havel / Photo: Restu.cz
Chateau St. Havel / Photo: Restu.cz

Other Prague traditions include attending mass at St. Nicholas cathedral or Bach Easter cantatas.

If you are leaving Prague entirely—Good Friday is a national holiday this year—here are some travel ideas from castle trips to charming village celebrations to Easter spa excursions.

Photo: Wikipedia / Cheva
Photo: Wikipedia / Cheva

Make sure to brush up on the Czech Easter rhyme and all of the other mainstays of the Czech Easter celebration, touched upon in our article here:

Hody hody doprovody
dejte vejce malovany
Nedate-li malovany
dejte aspon bily
však Vam slepička snese jiny

(Give me a colored egg, if you won’t give me a colored egg, give me a white one and get your hen to lay another.)

What is your favorite part of Czech Easter?

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