Have you ever watched one of the best kids cartoons called Rise of The Guardians?
Where the evil Pitch Black launches an attack on the Earth, and the immortal guardians as Santa, Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Jack Frost team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world?
Well, as I hadn’t grown up in an English speaking world, the Easter Bunny was nobody to me. Until I watched that amazing cartoon.
And since then, the Easter Bunny in my head looks like the cartoon character and speaks like Hugh Jackman.
And if I ever bumped into the Easter Bunny hiding eggs in our garden and he didn’t have an Australian accent, I’d think he was a fake and I’d probably freak out.
Ever since our bilingual cherubs started school, we usually go for Easter to see all my family in the Czech Republic.
And in Czech, the Easter Bunny is off duty. But I am sure he’s busy enough to hide the eggs for all the English speaking world.
But who steps in on Easter Monday?
Well, nobody really. There is no Easter egg hunt.
Easter Monday is all about the Czech pagan traditions when we celebrate spring and the end of winter.
Before Easter Monday all boys and men prepare or buy young willow branches, sometimes they make little woven whips from them.
All the girls and women, young and old, according to the tradition prepare eggs.
They boil them and decorate them and nowadays they also buy lots of chocolate ones and chocolate Easter bunnies and all sorts of sweets.
And then on Monday morning, all the boys and men, young and all, go and see all the women they know, like their mums, sisters, grandmas, aunties, cousins, school friends and friends and they have to smack their bums (gently!) with the young wooden brunches they prepared or bought.
In some parts of Czech the young willow branches are replaced by stingy juniper branches and you as a girl might sometimes not only get your bum smacked, but you will also have your face washed and perfume sprayed all over you.
For teenagers, it sometimes means that this fun gets well out of hand where you as a girl might end up completely soaked in your clothes in a shower.
That’s the better scenario, or you might be thrown into the stream or lake if you happen to live nearby one.
All this must be done because if ladies don’t get their bums smacked (and faces washed) on Easter Monday, they won’t stay healthy and beautiful all year around.
In return for having our bums smacked we have to give all the men that did us this very thoughtful favour…. Easter eggs!
Small, big, boiled, decorated, chocolate ones, you name it.
Or the sweets.
Or a shot of plum brandy if you’re over 18.
This is usually the very merry gathering on Easter Monday.
My bilingual cherubs can’t wait to go!
This is the highlight of their year: they can get away with smacking their mum’s and grandmothers’ bums and even get rewarded for it, how crazy is that.
I’ll be brutally honest with you. This was not my favourite holiday when I was growing up, that’s for sure.
I still remember one of my grandad setting out on his Easter Monday trip around the town at 5am in the morning… so he caught me still in bed… in my pyjamas!
Which was at the time not greatly appreciated by me! Of course not, I was a teenager with no sense of humour back then…
Traditions can seem sometimes very strange, no matter what language, culture or country, I am sure.
You have to take them with a pinch of salt and have a bit of laugh. Just don’t lose your sense of humour over them.
Happy Easter wherever you are! ….whatever unusual traditions you’re celebrating.
P.S. Do you know any other weird Easter traditions in other parts of the world? You can let me know in the comment below. Thank you.