Czech Easter - Holy Week: Monday and Tuesday
Contributed by Petr Chudoba

"Thou, O Bridegroom, dost exceed in beauty all the sons of men, and Thou hast called us to the spiritual festival of Thy bridal chamber. Through participation in Thy sufferings, do Thou remove the mean raiment of my sins, and adorn me with a robe of glory, which will proclaim me a radiant guest of the glorious beauty of Thy Kingdom; for Thou, O Lord, art merciful." (Holy Monday Evening)

On the Monday of Holy Week, the kitchen is bustling. There is a great deal of baking and boiling and brewing to be done in preparation for the holiday. Monday and Tuesday are about the only times the women have to do it, because of all the church services of the following days.

During this Monday and Tuesday of intensive cooking, the women make strudels, jidášky (Judases) - ropes of bread, twisted like a hangman's knot - to eat on Green Thursday...

"O misery of Judas! He saw the harlot embracing Thy feet, and himself with guile meditated the kiss of treachery. She unloosed her tresses, and he bound himself with wrath, bringing instead of myrrh, his foul wickedness; for envy knows not even to appreciate its own advantage. O misery of Judas! From this, O God, deliver our souls." (Holy Tuesday Evening)

... egg-bread for Great Friday, and heaps of coffeecake and buchty stuffed with prunes or poppy seeds, housky, a braided sweet bread, and koláèky.

While their mothers are busy in the kitchens, the children have lots of fun making crafts, such as painted eggs and paper flowers, and hanging colorful ribbons around the home.