Some weird traditions on Easter, part 1

There is already a craziness in celebrating Easter if we think about it. The dead and resurrection of Jesus Christ is accompanied by candies brought by a giant bunny, games of hide and seek, and especially and mainly a lot of food….a lot.

Well this is nothing compared to other habits that I found online:

In the Czech Republic, it is customary for men to get a special Easter whip that they then use to swat the women they fancy most.Czech-Republic-whipping

In return for getting whipped by some guy, the women then give the man a decorated egg or a handful of money as thanks for getting hit by them. If the men are old enough, they can also receive a shot of whiskey. While this sounds weird, it can be considered offensive if you don’t get whipped, since it means nobody likes you enough to do it. Its kind of like not getting any cards on Valentine’s Day, only somehow less painful.

Of course, the now freshly-whipped women can’t let the guys have all the fun/abuse. The morning after they’re whipped, the women of the Czech Republic will go out and dump ice cold water on the men that they fancy. Again, this is all in good fun and the day usually ends with everybody drunk and soaked.

In Cyprus, for example, they also carry the tradition of painting and hiding eggs for the young children to find, but then they follow it up with a rather violent contest for their teenaged children.Imagini pentru fires cyprus for easter

It is a longstanding tradition in Cyprus to have entire neighborhood’s of young boys scour the town for scraps of wood to use in a communal bonfire. The neighborhood with the largest fire at the end of the day gets Easter bragging rights for the rest of the year. Did we mention there is also a very limited supply of scrap wood to share among the teenage boys? It isn’t uncommon for the police to be called in to break up fights over wood scraps or to help put out out-of-control bonfires, but at least it is in the name of Easter.

While Denmark’s Easter tradition does involve having children dressing up as witches and warlocks while going door-to-door for candy, the kids are also expected to give the people something in return. Don’t worry though, it isn’t their soul or anything like that. They’re just required to give each house they visit a decorated willow branch, as thanks for the chocolate gifts they’ve received. These willow branches are believed to bless the owner’s house, but how blessed can you really be when witches are throwing sticks at you for candy?

easter-willow-branch

The people of Florence, Italy are hard at work making Rube Goldberg machines of explosive terror to celebrate Easter with. All good Goldberg machines need some epic origin story, so obviously the one in Florence is started with a holy fire using shards of flint from Christ’s supposed burial place, the Holy Sepulchre, as a match.

The holy fire is then placed on a candle, which is dragged through the city on a massive cart that stands over thirty feet tall and has been in use for well over three hundred years. After it reaches it’s destination, the fire is then carried to the cathedral square by clerics and city officials while the cart is loaded with fireworks. When everything is ready, a fuse is placed on the high alter inside the cathedral with a fake dove tied to the end.

The fake dove is then set ablaze by the Cardinal of Florence. As the fuse burns down to the cart in the cathedral square, the bells of Giotto’s campanile ring out to signify that the show is about to start. What follows is twenty minutes of nonstop explosions in the city’s cathedral that would make Michael Bay weep with joy. If everything goes according to plan, then the fireworks signify a year of good harvests and successful business for the people of the city. A very elaborate way to read your town’s horoscope, but hey, its Easter.cart-explosion-florence-640x426

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