Thursday, April 13, 2017
Our Easter Traditions Have Begun
As you may already know, we Czechs are a superstitious bunch. I'm not talking superstitious as in don't walk under a ladder, or find a penny heads-up and you'll start seeing rainbows and unicorns will cross your path whilst pooping pots of gold. We need to go darker here people. Much, much darker...
We need to go down a grim path "...or you will die."
So this joyous Easter holiday, don't worry about dying eggs in shades of crimson and gold. Worry about not following our traditions. Or you will die...
So I am a day late here as our traditions began yesterday with Škaredá středa (Ugly Wednesday), also known as Spy Wednesday to remind us that it is the day that Judas betrayed Jesus. We may or may not remember that as we are wildly busy cleaning the house from top to bottom, bottom to top, side to side, inside out. Not a mattress is left unturned and not a rug has been left unbeaten. Oh, and children? They come straight home from school and help with the cleaning...
Ok, ok, now that I have composed myself, there is one tradition on Ugly Wednesday that we adhere to...eating honey. It is said that if one eats honey on this day they will not be bitten by serpents.
Guess you're shit out of luck if you didn't eat honey yesterday. Sorry for the late notification.
Also on Ugly Wednesday, one is supposed to smile at everyone they meet.. If you
don't didn't, then the entire year will be a sad one. Again, my apologies.
But enough about yesterday, let's move on to today, better known as Zelený čtvrtek (Green Thursday). Tonight, every boy in the neighborhood equips himself with a řehtačka (wooden rattle), looks like this:
Said boys rattle away as loud as can be to chase away Judas. Remember now, he betrayed Jesus. These noisy rattles will keep him away! But you see, these boys will also come to your door... rattling. Loudly. Until you give them money. Genius.
Green Thursday is also a day of fasting.
CZECHS DON'T FAST.
Fasting for us is not eating meat. Thus Green Thursday, a day to eat green vegetables. These days, green beer will do just fine. Bring on the fasting.
It seems that men should wake at midnight and walk to the nearest brook to wash themselves in honor and imitation of Jesus. According to legend, Jesus tripped and fell into the Brook Kidron on His way to His hearing before the high priest.
Set that alarm clock, men... and off to the nearest stream you go!
...Or you will die.
PS... whips and shots of alcohol are part of this celebration, more on that tomorrow!