Easter – how we celebrate it 3

Easter is here. And as this celebration of spring is celebrated very vehemently in our family I decided to share all the stuff with you. This is a series of posts describing pagan czech traditions that stayed in the minds of people even after the christianization and keep being part of every spring in the Czech Republic.

So far we were talking about decorating eggs in this series. Check out The many uses of onion and the old gold Wax technique if you haven´t read it yet. Now we are going to bake.

I promised pagan traditions, but the baking recipes that are used during the Easter nowdays are all much younger, from the time of Christianity already firmly stated in our country. One can tell from the names of these goods easily:

The Little Ram / Beránek

The Little Judas / Jidášky

The Smeared / Mazanec

(all tries for exact translations done by myself)

I am not going to invite you to our kitchen this time, because The Little Ram was done by my grandma, therefore I did not get the chance to take photos, maybe I will ask her to make it together with me the next year. And when my boyfriend was making the Mazanec I was too tired after our trip for willow sticks (read more in next Easter post) to take photos or to actually care.

But I will show you the pics of already made stuff. If you come to Czech Republic before Easter it is possible to buy Beránek and Mazanec in every store, but some people (like my family) prefer to make it at home.

1. The Little Ram / Beránek

It is a long time tradition to remind christian people of Jesus even while eating with making this cake in a shape of ram aka The Gods Ram – Jesus.

It is a sweet cake made in a form. It is decorated by raisins in places for eyes and my grandma also ads a red ribbon with a little jingle bell. The ram can have just one side or two sides with horns. This one is made for one side view only, while the other one can be used as a central piece on your table.

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I wondered how does Beránek bought in a shop taste, so I bought one in after Easter sales. It is completely different from the home made one, but very tasty as well. This one has a chocolate cover.

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2. Mazanec (I translate it as The Smeared Cake as it is called after smearing the cake with hot butter in the end of baking)

This is also a sweet cake. But it is made from raised dough. The right taste this cake gets from raisins soaked in rum. Some people put cut almonds on the top.

The top of the cake is crossly cut as a reminder of crucification of Jesus.

The first photo is Mazanec before baking, the next one the already made cake.

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3. Jidášky – The Little Judas

Sweet baked goods called after Juda who betraied Jesus, which led to Jesus´s death. Juda later killed himself by hanging, the shape of this cake should remind us of the rod on a rope Juda used for the hanging. But some people decorate the rod with heads of animals like birds, so the meaning is much less dark and is getting closer to the one of symbol of Spring.

It is said, who eats Jidášky before the sun rise on the Green Thursday (the Thursday before the Easter) will be healthy all the year on.

I am sorry we did not have any of these at home (I hope our health will not be influenced) but you can take a look at this google search for the typical looks of Jidášky.

I was not sharing the whole recipes this time, but if you are interested let me know I will make another post on your desired food.

The next post is going to be about a more manly stuff than we had here until now. The willows are shaking already.

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