Archive for April, 2007


Here is the beautiful Beranek that Markéta made me for Easter.

You are not allowed to eat the head first . . .

Marketa's Beranek


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Easter Fun

Pomlazka 2007

I have just finished making my pomlazka. After two years of training I felt that I was capable of flying solo and so I’ve made my own this year.

I am quite pleased with the result. I have used seven willow shoots. Eight is more traditional – but I was feeling adventurous. I’m pretty happy with the result and I’m looking forward to putting it into action tomorrow morning.

It seems that women here in some ways have it comparatively easy. One Slovak was telling me that in his village they don’t use pomlazky, instead they just toss the women fully clothed into the river. It can’t be that pleasant as the weather is still quite cold.

For more about the wonderful Czech Easter tradition, see here.

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Happy Easter Everyone

This morning we woke up at 3.30 in the morning to go to church,

The service in the monastery started at 4.00 am. Despite the fact that it lasted for three hours and even though it was in Czech (so at best I only partly comprehended it), I enjoyed it nevertheless.

I was a lot better theater (with raging bonfires, candle-lit processions etc.) than I can remember these kinds of things being in New Zealand. It was also followed by a huge breakfast.

It’s lunchtime now though and I have to say that I’m feeling a little the worse for wear.

We’ve had quite a bit to do with the monks recently.

In Slany there are two beautiful churches. Both are very very old. One is called St Gothard, and we went there at Christmas to sing Christmas Carols. There is a link to some information here. It’s very old and very beautiful. It still has the original medieval mural painting on its very high gothic ceiling. Maybe it’s just me though, but somehow I feel that it lacks character.

St Gothard

St Gothard (more or less as it looks now)

On the other hand, the other church is part of a monastery, and this is where we were this morning. I like the idea of monks. (That doesn’t mean I’d like to be one myself though!) But I do really like the idea of people spending their lives meditating and helping after other people.

Our local monks are, as you would expect, some of the genuinely nicest people you could meet. They also have a very beautiful monastery including an enormous baroque church (which is too cold to use most of the time).

Because they are such nice people you feel like you should do whatever you can to help them. Markéta is doing her part by teaching one of them to speak Czech (he’s from India). I guess the rest of the community is doing their part by getting out of bed well before the crack of dawn. And forgiving them for running a three hour church service.

If you would like to see the monastery. their web site is here. It’s not in English yet (despite the fact that they have a flag). Perhaps this will be our next job?

So click on the Czech version if you want to see some pictures.

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