Where to get the gear you need to get the Resurrection right
Posted: March 13, 2013
Easter is a special time of year for believers, the key to the Christian faith, and, well, falling right in the first part of spring, it's not an unspecial time for anyone. Whether you're celebrating the rising of Christ, the rising temperatures or simply not having to rise on a Monday, you'll want to make sure you're stocked up.
Across Prague, Easter markets (Velikonoční trhy) have also risen, selling celebratory supplies of the kind you might know from wherever you call home and also traditional trinkets found only in the Czech Republic. If you're a lady concerned about looking good through this spring and summer - or if there's a lady you love and you're wanting to keep her lovely - you may want to pick up a pomlázka, a willow whip, a pretty stick, a few lashes from which are meant to ensure that beauty will endure. It's a performance not quite as old as gender, and in some regions, tradition allows for girls to repay the guys in kind the following day.
Most markets open Saturday, March 16, on all the usual squares - Old Town, Wenceslas and náměstí Míru - and there are also one-dayers March 30 at Náplavka and Kubánské náměstí and a weekender at Jiřího z Poděbrad March 29 and 30 for last-minute shopping. The market in front of the Anděl metro station runs March 9-April 1.
You'll find the sticks, sure, but also candles, baked goods and handcrafted decorations, which, if you strip them of the religion bit, you could probably stretch to keep up all spring.
As everywhere, eggs are a thing here, Christianized to symbolize no longer fertility, but now and somehow resurrection. If you're in the market for eggs at the Easter market, perhaps you can find some free-range, the smallest gift to the hen who has given you so much, and if it's not too symbolic for you, you can have yours custom-decorated by whoever's manning the stall.
There are also traditional eats, the ending of Lent allowing anew for indulgences, this or that on a spit, sliced off some and served to you on a plate. And all of the drinks you've come to expect at an outdoor market in the Czech Republic - come on cold-beer weather; svařák season has run its course.
For those looking for a little shopping not pegged to the eggs, but possibly to the season, check out the spring cleaning Saturday, March 16, at Náplavka in Prague 2 for vintage goods. In the same spirit as the regular sales on náměstí Míru, you'll find clothes, books, trinkets and the like - and you won't have the ethical bother of buying new in a world with so much stuff cluttering the closets.
Whatever your reason to celebrate this season, there is plenty of shopping and gawking (and a fair bit of whipping!) to be done between now and the day the last market closes, April 7.
Milan Gagnon can be reached at