Easter

Around the Anděl Metro station is a shopping Mecca to rival any. The square there is always filled with people, but last week it was nuts. There was a long row of little portable shops doing a rousing business selling Easter crap. Prominent among the crap shops were people selling switches woven from tree branches and decorated with ribbons. The tradition, it seems, is that on the Monday holiday overtime the boys are supposed to whack the girls with sticks, and in return the girls give the boys eggs.

Yes, it strikes me as a little one-sided as well. Iveta explained that if the boys didn’t whack the girls, the girls would get “bugs”, which I translate as cooties.

The following day, today, girls are able to get revenge by dousing the boys with water.

Apparently in the not-too-far-distant past, there was a greater deterrent to the whacking of a girl with a stick. Back in the day, a stick whack would be followed by having dinner with the girl’s parents. Do not strike whimsically, for you will have a father asking you your intentions. Now there’s something to stay your hand.

18 thoughts on “Easter

  1. Well, for all of you wondering, at noon, when we enjoyed our tasty Hassenfeffer, Oscar was busily hunting the food on our plates.

    By 10:00 PM he was having seizures and was gone. He was put to sleep at 12:10. All of you out there who have met the little fur ball know what a cool kitty he was. RIP, Oscar.

    –John

  2. Many condolences on Oscar. From what I have heard, he was a substantial enough cat that a single condolence won’t do.

    Meanwhile, I am sure he is now relaxing and enjoying kitty heaven with Shere Khan.

  3. Oh, and going back to the whacking girls with sticks thing, according to the Prague guidebook that I’m now reading, it’s a remnant of ancient pagan ritual having to do with insuring fertility. That might explain the “meet the folks” obligation afterward.

    Meanwhile, I note the same guidebook says May 5 is a holiday of sorts, commemorating an uprising (I’m not sure exactly when, other than it was in the first half of the 20th century, and I get a feeling it might have been against the Nazis), and at noon there’s a siren sounding, followed by a moment of silence to honor those who died during the uprising.

  4. Sixty years ago, during the very last days of World War II, the Americans had advanced to Plzen in Western Czechoslovakia, but were told not to proceed any further; the Russians were rapidly moving in from the east. On May 5, 1945, a brave radio reporter started broadcasting for help in Czech from the Czech Radio building, behind the National Museum on Vinohradska. This signaled the start of the Prague Uprising, a final wave of resistance against the amassed German forces.

    For five days, more than 30,000 Czechs fought the Nazis, using all available materials to fight and build barricades against the onslaught of tanks.

    Ironically, it was a renegade Russian army division in service of the Germans that provided essential support and helped liberated the city; General Vlasov’s division consisted of captured anti-Bolshevist Russians in German service, who had turned sides. On May 8, the Germans surrendered to the Czechs, a day before the Red Army rolled into town to make an end to the last pockets of resistance.

    On Thursday May 5, from 11:30 – 12:00, a preview will be held for the veterans of the Prague Uprising, followed by a memorial ceremony in front of the building. The reenactment for the general public takes place on Saturday May 7, from 15:00 – 15:45, followed by a memorial ceremony. The area is accessible from 14:00. For more information, see http://www.rozhlas.cz/wwii/akce (in Czech) or call tel. 221 55 13 12.

    You going Jer? Sounds like an event not to miss.

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