Easter in Slovakia

Sunday

Slovak Easter is an interesting one. Sunday is quite similar to English Sunday, big meal with your family...though they don't have the big chocolate eggs!

Great Night Monday (Easter Monday)

On Easter Monday, in Slovakia, boys from the village would pour water over the girls and in Western Slovakia the boys would also whip the girls with thin willow branches. If the girls wanted to stay beautiful, healthy and full of life throughout the year, they would have to gracefully accept the water soaking and whippings.

The Easter whips were made from freshly cut willow branches. It was believed that by whipping the girls with the willow branch, all the fertility and life giving powers from the tree would be transferred to the girl. Meanwhile, the water was supposed to bring health and beauty.

In return for whipping and soaking the girls, the boys would also receive special treats from each of the girls, as a way of thank you. The gifts from the girls would include painted eggs, which symbolized fertility, sweets, cakes and glasses of local schnapps, such as Borovicka. The village boys would collect the gifts and then have a party in the evening, to which the girls were also invited, of course.

In some parts of Slovakia, the roles would be reversed the following day and the girls would have the chance to get their own back on the boys. The boys would be whipped and sprinkled with water, however, the girls did not receive any treats.