Easter – magical spring festivals

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26. 2. 2013

Enjoy Easter, the most important Christian festivals, traditional customs and gastronomic specialities!

Will you be celebrating the festivals of spring in the cities, in the awakening parks, in the chateaux or in period style in an open-air museum? You can experience Easter in a multitude of ways in the Czech Republic!

The offer includes Easter fairs, demonstrations of ancient handicrafts, rattle processions, Easter egg painting and other Easter customs known and unknown. And if tradition doesn’t attract you, let’s try to get you involved by means of various delicacies. What would you say to flame-roasted ham, doused in Czech beer, homemade sausage or sweet “trdelník” pastry? You can for example see all of these things, try them for yourself and experience them at the Easter markets on the Old Town Square in the historical centre of Prague and in other cities.

 

The most famous symbol of Easter is usually decorated eggs, which represented fertility and new life.  Simple and very ingenious techniques are used to decorate these in the Czech Republic. You will for example see painted eggs with decorations scratched into them at the fairs, in festive spreads and when viewing the interiors or folk cottages and grand chateaux, eggs coloured in onion peel, etched eggs, forged eggs, eggs wrapped with wire or perforated. The result of what is a new yet beautiful handicraft is eggs which look as if they have been woven from lace.

 

Rattles, mills, shakers and other instruments are also a part of Czech Easter, all having a single task: with their din, to replace the ringing of church bells which always become silent on Maundy Thursday and according to an old legend fly off to Rome. Until the bells ring out again on Holy Saturday to the strains of Gloria, take the opportunity to set out on a walk with a traditional rattle procession! You can for example try this out during the Easter celebrations at Chateau Loučeň.

 

But the Easter spirit is underlined by feasting, be this with traditional specialities from goat’s meat, which accompanied the spring festivals in times gone by, some wonderful stuffing or sweet ceremonial delicacies. It is certainly worth trying “mazanec”, a type of tea cake or “jidáse”, hot cross buns made from leavened dough. They most frequently appear shaped into variously twisted knots or rolls – after all, they are supposed to represent the rope which was used to hang Judas. On the contrary, the lamb-shaped sponge cake is a symbol of Christ, dusted with flour or iced with white or brown chocolate. Apart from restaurants which prepare a special Easter menu, you can for example try out examples of traditional Easter delicacies during celebrations of Easter in Moravian Wallachia in the famous open-air museum Rožnov pod Radhoštěm or during the Easter tours of the fairytale Chateau Žleby. You will learn how the princely family and other inhabitants of the chateau and people living outside the walls enjoyed the spring festivals, but above all get a look at the chateau kitchens and try some Easter delicacies, prepared according to old recipes. Spring is also welcomed in true Easter style and with an abundance of decorations and interesting events at the chateau in Náměšť na Hané. And because it is not only gastronomic delicacies that go to make up Easter but also uplifting church music, we would also like to invite you to the Easter festival of spiritual music, a cycle of concerts in six churches in the city of Brno.

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