Hit me with your Easter stick

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I spent Easter at Czechman’s brother-in-law’s weekend house.  The little rabbit you can see in the picture was waiting by the door to greet us.  ‘Weekend house’ implies something modest like a chalet or a caravan so I was surprised by how much space there was.   It used to belong to an old lady before Czechman’s in-laws bought it ten years ago and started doing it up;  apparently half the village is second homes now.

The house is full of quirky old furniture – a battered dresser in the kitchen, a brown and orange stripy three piece suite – and super-kitsch items such as fringed net curtains decorated with a row of yellow chicks chasing each other.

We went walking every day.  The village is in a valley surrounded by forests somewhere near the Polish border.  The forests are full of tall, slim pine trees and huge rock formations like this one.

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I’ve never been in a forest which had rocks in it before.  Apparently they’re made of sandstone which helps to explain why the ground is covered in white sand.  If we had anywhere like this in England, I remember thinking, it would be crawling with tourists and the village would be packed with shops selling naff china figurines and chinzy cafes serving cream teas.  As it was, we barely came across another soul.

I loved the rocks.  I want you to love them too so here’s another picture:

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The Czechs are crazy about walking and the Great Outdoors.  When I first started going out with Czechman, he suggested that we go to Wales to do some ‘walking’.  To me, this meant the odd  meander through some flattish countryside somewhere easily accessible from a town, punctuated by regular tea/coffee breaks.  How wrong I was.  I’ll never forget the dismay in his voice when I asked if we could get a taxi from the train station to the B&B rather than traispe through three miles of Welsh countryside.  Now that we’ve been together for some time, I understand that what he calls ‘walking’ requires sturdy boots and a rucksack rather than a handbag.  In fact, I would even go so far to say that I actually enjoy it.

When we weren’t walking we played petanque and drank pastis (not very Czech I know), cooked questionable meat products on the fire (see my first post for more details on my initial encounters with these) and played an obscure board game with very complicated rules that somehow Czechman and I managed to win.  There was also the communal cooking (and eating) of goulash and dumplings and the eating of a giant sponge cake in the shape of a ram and being beaten on the arse by Czechman with a big stick he had handcrafted himself from willow on Easter Sunday.  I’m not making this last bit up.  The stick business is supposed to be some kind of Czech Easter tradition linked to ancient fertility rites.  There are few sights more disturbing than watching your boyfriend chasing his sister around the house, whacking her on the behind while she screams, with a big grin on his face.

There’s no photographic evidence of the stick incident but I do have a cute picture of an Easter chick here which is a nicer note to end on:

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12 Comments

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12 Responses to Hit me with your Easter stick

  1. Hi nice blog 🙂 I can see a lot of effort has been put in.

  2. ghostcatcherireland

    Those are some good rocks, Napoleon. In fact, they rock!

    From ghostcatcherireland (AKA Bismark)

  3. #13

    Yes, this is what I meant! 🙂 Expect more when Easter comes. 🙂

    BTW, I’m not that sure about the fertility stuff. I think it’s rather liveliness stuff. We say that we beat the girls so that they don’t dry up during the next year (because of the blood circulation). Any sources suggesting connection to fertility?

    • girlinczechland

      Hello again,

      I will escape being beaten on the arse this year as I’ll be back in England for Easter so I’ll get to make myself sick eating chocolate eggs instead.

      Czechman and family claim the whole pagan ritual is about fertility. Perhaps it’s a Southern Bohemian thing?

      GIC

      • #13

        Oh, now I see that this post is actually very old. But it appeared as new in my Google Reader, don’t know why. 🙂

        I’ve actually never read anything on the topic of Easter so I don’t know. It was my assumption taken from what we usually say about the beating. “Hey Girl, you have to let us beat you, so you don’t dry up.” 🙂

  4. Presle

    I heard about the fertility as well. That it used to be for cattle and actually something from the branches got into the skin but at some point it all moved to women instead.
    Do you know that every forth year (with 29th february, I don’t know how they’re called properly in English) it’s the other way around and girls chase boys with this stick? Did someone tell you that if he gets over the line you can pour a bucket full of cold water on his head and it’s still within the rules? And are you getting your 1st may kiss under blooming cherry tree branches regularly to not get dry and ugly during the following year? Questions, questions 🙂

  5. Easy to avoid, prove your fertility, became pregnant…

  6. Cheeky! I think being hit on the behind with a big stick is the lesser of two evils…

  7. Theeeeere you go 😉 Now you can consider yourself a full-on czech girl/woman … 😉

  8. Elizabet Kovacheva via Facebook

    I have avoided participating in this “tradition” for 17 years now! It is possible! All you need to do stay at home for the day. Oh and for the record, the woman should throw water over the man after she’s undergone the fertilization procedure. This second part is often forgotten!

  9. the fertilization procedure. ………….jaj, to zní jako …. 🙂

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