The Czech Tradition of Whipping Women

Following an ancient pagan tradition, in the morning of Easter Monday, groups of young men set out with willow whips (pomlázka) to walk from house to house in search of women and girls.

The women and girls are whipped and sometimes doused in ice-cold water after the men recite a sort of nursery rhyme.

‘Hody, hody, doprovody, dejte vejce malovaný, nedáte-li malovaný, dejte aspoň bílý, slepička vám snese jiný‘

In return they receive beautifully painted eggs, shots of slivovice and collect a ribbon from each of their victims.

Why? For health and fertility.

Happy Czech Easter!