Easter celebrations in Czech Republic are based on Christian traditions though the holiday is becoming more secular as the population becomes less religious. Both Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays. The main celebration days are 30th March on Good Friday and 2nd April Easter Monday.
During Communist rule, Easter was suppressed and only the celebration of the arrival of spring was allowed. Since 1989, people are more aware again of the Christian roots of Easter, but the holiday is still celebrated in a very much secular tone. There are, however, still many Czech Easter traditions to consider.
The Easter eggs that are painted and ornately decorated each season are the most notable symbol of a Czech Easter. The more ornate eggs are called “kraslice,” and it takes a good amount of skill to perfect the art. Geometric patterns are most common, but flowers and snowflakes are also common. Materials, besides paint, that are used include: bees wax, onion peels, straw, and stickers.
Another Czech tradition is the forming of small, braided whips (“pomlazka”) out of pussy-willow twigs. Since those whipped with pussy-willows were once thought to gain health and youth, the practice remains of boys “symbolically whipping” the legs of young girls as the boys go through town carolling each Easter Monday.
In earlier times, boys were expected to braid their own pussy-willow whips, but today, the skill is something of a lost art. Therefore, pomlazka are a common item for sale in stores around Easter time.
The colour of Easter, in the Czech Republic, is eminently red. Red is thought to be the colour of life, joy, and health and a colour that well symbolises spring. However, other bright colours are commonly used as well.