Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Private guide in Prague

Easter in Prague 2017

Easter is a very important Christian holiday, and in Prague it is celebrated very much in that spirit. It is also a holiday time when families travel and get together. While walking Prague’s paved streets you will notice market stalls and flower decorations, Easter eggs smiling from shop windows. The most common sight is brightly coloured, hand-painted Easter eggs, which Czech ladies dressed in traditional costume can personalise for you by painting on a name or a special message and a number of popular customs and traditions pervade. 

Among the most characteristic is the pussy willow “pomlázka” on Easter Monday. In this tradition, boys and men visit their classmates, girl friends and neighbours to symbolically lash them with switches braided into a so-called “pomlázka”. In certain regions, local girls are splashed with cold water rather than whipped. Though this tradition is typically enjoyed more by men, women do not entirely resist: after all, it is supposed to bring them beauty and vivacity for the whole of the next year. This explains why they even reward their assailants with coloured eggs, sweets and refreshments! In villages, the custom of walking around the neighbourhood with rattles and clappers has remained to this day. These noisemakers, rather than bells, are used to call worshippers to church, as from Holy Thursday to Holy Saturday the bells fall silent in token of the mourning for Christ’s martyrdom

Visitors can observe traditional foods being made, sample all manner of local produce and try some local specialities. Try the “lamb” sponge-cake with sugar or chocolate frosting, sweet buns from yeast dough, Easter gingerbread cookies, Easter dressing with young nettles, spring vegetable soup, sweet rolls (“jidáše”, or Judas rolls) glazed with honey, or crunchy fried “God’s graces” coated in powdered sugar. To quench your thirst, there are the famous Czech beers - Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar - and a variety of warm drinks on offer. Outdoor shopping is so much nicer with an ice-cold beer or a cup of hot mulled wine (svařené víno or svařák) in your hand!

As well as enjoying the bright colours and spring flowers that decorate the markets, children can visit a farmyard pen to feed and stroke sheep, goats and a donkey. And on the Old Town Square stage, local children participate in Easter themed activities, making Easter chicks, painting eggs and flower pots, and cutting colourful ribbons.
The Prague Easter markets are free to enter. By staying in the city centre, whenever you fancy dropping in you can leave your hotel and be in the midst of the markets in minutes. Grab a drink, soak up the atmosphere, and when you're ready to freshen up it's just a short walk home.

Aside from the markets, there is a range of entertainment and sightseeing on offer. In particular we would recommend buying a ticket for a classical concert. At this time of year there are some wonderful performances in the city's ancient churches and grand concert halls. The opera and ballet season is also in full swing, with performances proving popular at the Prague opera houses.

If you are ever planning a trip to Prague, we would highly recommend Easter as the time to visit. Happy Easter!

Visit Prague with our private guide: www.visita-praga.eu

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