Traditions and Costoms.

It’s always fun to learn about the traditions and customs of a country. They are curious, new and sometimes wholly unexpected. Why not read this section and know in advance what will hit you – say on Easter Monday.

Feminists may be outraged, but on Easter Monday Czech men run after women with wooden sticks, beat them and may throw them into cold water. In return the guys receive eggs or shots of preferably Slivovice. But rest assured that most women are not helpless in the face of this custom, often men will have buckets of cold water emptied over their heads in return. Revenge is sweet. You will mostly encounter this curious tradition in rural areas.

St. Nicholas on December 5 comes to remind you that Christmas is near. And he does it ever so sweetly with chocolates and candy for the good kids handed out by the Angel. Alternatively, if you’ve been bad, his evil companion, the Devil, will give you a sack of potatoes or coal instead.

What a lucky country in which you can mark May 1 as “The Day of Love” in your calendars. Add a red heart and take your significant other to the statue of Karel Hynek Mácha, Czech’s poet of love, in Prague's Petřín Park. Very romantic when the cherry trees are in full bloom.

Burn a witch on April 30 and make the cold winter go away. Not a real one, of course. A bonfire and an effigy of a witch on top of it are inflamed to rid the village of the last winter’s chill and evil spirits. Especially in rural areas this pagan tradition is kept alive. It is even a sort of competition for children, since they are in charge of building the pyre with as much wood and straw they can possibly gather. The community with the biggest pyre wins.