On the evening of April 30th, Czechs gather to build a bonfire and prepare an effigy of the witch that kept winter around so long. Czechs used to believe that the power of witches would weaken as the weather got warmer. So they thought that if they made something that looked like a witch and burned it, they could finally get rid of the cold weather. First, they tie two large sticks together to form a cross. Then they stuff old shirts, pants and socks with straw and place a pointed hat on the top of the stack. The witch is tied to a broomstick and set aside until darkness falls. When the fire is roaring, people roast sausages on sticks, strum guitars, and sing their favorite songs. Everyone looks forward to nightfall, when they will face the spirits of the witches. As soon as it's dark, the effigy of the witch is brought out and held up for all to see. Then, with a heave of the arm, it is thrown on top of the bonfire. As the witch burns, so does the last of winter's chill.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Today after our morning services, Biblické Baptistické Shromáždění Brno (Brno Bible Baptist Church) had a great picnic and then a wonderful tour of the Czech Bible museum and memorial (Památník Bible Kralické a muzeum).
And then it began to sleet and snow.........
Posted by Jeffrey Allison at 8:01 AM
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
The decorated Eastern eggs are called Kraslice, a name derived from the old Czech word meaning "beautiful". And they are truly beautiful! Some eggs are coloured in red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Most are decorated with motifs that are geometrical, floral or religious using ancient techniques and patterns that vary from one region to another. In Czech households the decoration of eggs has mostly been a chore for girls, because boys have been busy making whips and play with rattles. There are many stories about why Maundy Thursday has been nicknamed the “Green Thursday” in the Czech Republic. Some believe it is linked to Christian tradition, when you eat a meal free of meat and only vegetables are consumed. In Czech Republic it is also celebrated with the production of green beer, which is only produced once a year by the brewery Starobrno in Brno. Green Thursday (Zelený čtvrtek) is also the day when young boys go out on the village streets equipped with rattles to chase away evil spirits. Rattles are a symbol to ward off the apostle Judas, who betrayed Jesus. The Czechs go all-in with desserts on Easter. Sweet, fermented bread dominate, usually in the form of a lamb. Buns are popular such as "Jidáš" (Judas bread) that is decorated with a spiral that is supposed to represent the rope which Judas hung himself with after having betrayed Christ. Although chocolate Easter Bunnies have become more common, it is more traditional to form a sponge cake like a lamb.
Posted by Jeffrey Allison at 6:52 AM