Are you wondering what Easter customs and traditions are associated with these spring holidays? Easter is not just a major holiday for Christians. They have their roots already in pagan cultures, who celebrated them more like the holidays of spring and new beginnings. Individual Easter days are characterized by their special rituals, which we present in this article.
Why does the date of Easter change every time?
You also never understood how it is possible, that Easter is sometimes celebrated in March and sometimes in April? Calculating the Easter period is quite difficult. Easter is a holiday that celebrates the spring and resurrection of Jesus Christ and it's celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs after March 21. If the full moon falls on Sunday, Easter is celebrated on the following Sunday.
Easter and customs
Unfortunately, Easter traditions are forgotten more and more every year. However, Easter is one of our oldest holidays and should, therefore, be kept. Their main purpose is to welcome the growing season, ie the victory of life over death. To this day, it is mainly Christians who are preparing for these feasts for long forty days. This is Lent or Carnival. It begins with Ash Wednesday. Previously, it was a time when people wishing to receive baptism intensified their preparation for it.
After Easter, there is an Easter time that lasts fifty days until the feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit. In the course of time, the holidays were celebrated a little differently, especially among the old Slavs and Germans. As important and religiously organized holidays, however, Easter appears for the first time among Jews. It was the feast of the horseradish (pascha, Hebrew pesah) that took place on the occasion of the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. They were always celebrated on the fourteenth day of Nisan and glorified the Lord that when he had destroyed the firstborn in Egypt, he had crossed and spared the houses of the Jews, which were marked with the blood of the lamb.
On the Maundy Thursday in the past, people got up early, prayed and washed with morning dew, because it was said that it got rid of various diseases, such as neck diseases, from their bodies. It was also said that whoever eats honey-greased bread before sunrise will be protected from snake bites and wasp stings all year round. In the mountains, for example, bread and honey were thrown back into the well to hold water all year round. The morning mass was only held in the episcopal temples, with holy oils (baptismal oil, holy criss-cross oil, and oil for sick).
In the afternoon, most of the work was not done because of baking, a sourdough pastry, either eaten alone or smeared with honey. The ringing of the bell at the evening mass meant that the bells would "fly for Rome" and stay there until Holy Saturday. During that time the bells were replaced with ratchets and clappers. Tradition says that when then bells ring for the last time, you have to clink with money to keep them all year round. Ceremonial foot washing is also performed on Maundy Thursday.
Good Friday is a day of many customs. One of the best known is that this day is a fasting day, and if not a fasting day, at least a day without meat. Also on this day, people were not allowed to lend anything to people, because it was said that the loaned thing could be bewitched. Laundry was also not washed because it was said that it would not be soaked in water but in Christ's blood.
On Good Friday, nobody worked neither on the fields nor the orchard, because they were not allowed to move the ground. It was believed in the magical power of the country, which opens on Good Friday and opens its treasures for a short time. But where should this treasure be sought? Apparently it appeared in a place where the fern glittered, or where there was an opening in the rock, from which the glow came.
Waterborne men also came out on land and rode on horses. According to one of many legends, the mountain Blanik was also opened for a short time. Passion threads were spun in cloth-making regions, and several stitches were made on the dress to protect against evil spirits and evil spirits. It was said that a shirt sewn from the canvas of passion thread protected the wearer from being struck by lightning.
On Holy Saturday, crosses were made of charred wood and worn in the field to make them as fertile as possible. Occasionally, the coals were put behind the beam in the house to protect it from fire. Festive dishes were cooked, strands were stranded, birch brooms were tied and traditional Easter eggs were also decorated.
On Easter Sunday the Easter dishes were consecrated - lamb, sweet buns, eggs, wine, and bread. In Chodsko, for example, this food was eaten in church standing. If a visitor came home, they had to get a piece of this food.
Traditions for Easter Monday have been maintained for centuries the same, or at least similar, and persist today. Boys swipe girls with willow wicker. Girls give boys painted eggs, and in some regions, girls go back and water the boy with cold water. In many villages, it was customary for boys to wait for girls to go to church in the morning so they could swipe them on the way. There used to be a tradition when on Tuesday after Easter Monday the girls went and chased the boy with a whip from willow wicker.
Low Sunday, the second Sunday of Easter, is also the day of the First Communion. To this day the Baptists wore white baptismal robes.