Easter in Slovakia

Easter in Slovakia

The weeks prior to Easter Sunday are full of great activity.  For instance, the local churches give special masses regarding this holiday.  In fact, many churches put on special re-enactments of the Stations of the Cross.

The local churches aren’t the only ones busy with preparations and various activities.  Slovaks are very busy during this time too.  For instance, Slovak homes undergo major spring-cleaning and are then decorated with great care for the holiday.

What’s more, Slovak women and young girls decorate eggs that will be given away as gifts to Slovak men and boys on Easter Monday.

Great Attention to Detail

Slovaks pay such close attention to detail.  As you can see, they come up with so many different designs and color combinations.  It really is a great art-form.

Pretty, Little Gifts

The day before Easter Monday, many Slovak women are in the kitchen, busy with preparations for the company they will receive the next day.  There is a wide array of food and other treats that are prepared.  For instance, a nice array of chicken and/or meat is cooked; sandwiches, salads and veggies may also be prepared.  What’s more, several types of desserts are baked.   To give you a better idea of what the various foods & treats may look like, take a look below:

Cookies

Bábovka

Potatoe Salad, Baked & Grilled Chicken, Pasta, and Veggies!

On Easter Monday, the table is set and ready for the guests to arrive.  Slovak men and boys, usually either a family member or friend, visit the women (young & old).

Table is Set & Ready

The reason they come, as tradition dictates, is to playfully and very lightly whip the girls with a korbáč.  At this point you might asking, what exactly is a korbáč?  Well, it is a woven willow cane.  It starts out as something very simple and plain-looking.  However, as the male visitors make their rounds, each woman or girl adds a ribbon to decorate the korbáč.

Korbáč

Making their rounds ;)

Another tradition, is for the men and boys, to “water” the women and girls with a little or a lot of water.  However, with regards to the latter, sometimes the women/girls are doused with perfume instead of water.  Both the playful whipping and the “watering” is important in terms of bestowing upon the females great beauty, health, and fertility.

Blessings being given...

Some Slovaks get dressed up in traditional costumes for the Easter Monday “blessings.”

Blessings in Action

As you know by now, Easter is a very big and much celebrated holiday here in Slovakia.  Slovaks celebrate both religious and the light-hearted & fun-loving aspects of this very special time.

Do you celebrate Easter?  What are some of the things you enjoy most about it?

 

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