Why though? 😳
A Czech girl here to extensively talk about her country! This is actually fun tradition, and the ‘beating’ is mostly symbolic. It stings a bit but I can’t say that I’d consider it unbearably painful or abusive. Nobody forces women to participate, and today people only go to the other people they know. And honestly I find it much more preferable to tradition where they spill water on you or even worse perfume. (I did that once and I it was annoying and I smelled horrible. I’m happy for whipping thank you) Though there’s like revenge day for women who then spill water on guys. (I never did, or haven’t seen it done though)
As to why. Traditionally it is not because the men want to cause harm to the women, the spring whipping was meant as a way for women to stay healthy, pretty and fertile for the following year. The whip is called ‘Pomlázka’ which comes from the word ‘Pomlazení - Omlazení’ which translates into Rejuvenation. Young twigs are used for the whip to transfer the ‘life force’ into women.
The whip is usually traditionally made out of pussy willow so it’s flexible and women are more usually whipped on their legs rather than backsides, though I guess you usually cover both. And it’s not only unmarried women. Nowadays in most region it’s ‘all’ the women. Even my grandma gets symbolic whipping.
It was also a form of symbolic ‘courtship’. Traditionally on Easter we decorate actual eggs. There are many ways how to do this, personally I love decorating with bee wax (I got beekeepers in the family) but also with onion peels and flowers.
Decorated with wax
Decorated with straw
Now the eggs are also a symbols of New life. And men ‘court’ women by whipping them (in the past some women actually took offence if nobody came to them) and the women give the men the decorated eggs as a sign of forgiveness and thanks for the rejuvenation. In some regions they also decorate their whips with bows. And Guys have to sing a Eastern Carol asking for the eggs.
It sound kinda brutal when you say they whip women, and sometimes there are alcohol issues, but generally it’s really tame and I find it to be fun tradition.
Thank god you showed up before the 14 year old social justice bloggers did
The same in Poland. At least in the eastern parts of the country.
“A Shield Raised"
My sister Lagertha treads a hard path. Alone in a man’s world, having lost a child - passed over by a husband - she feels less than a woman, but must now become something more. See how she holds her shield high. Freyja speaks to her, calling out the warrior sleeping within.