Friday, April 6, 2007

Why Easter? Why Bunnies?

This is an interesting article that taught me a thing or two about the holiday coming up on Sunday.

Easter like most other holiday and feast days, are derived from a combination of both Jewish lore and pagan practices. It is named after Eostre, the goddess of fertility and birth, worshipped by first-century pagans at the vernal equinox, who believed she would bless both their families and their crops.

Easter the original remix, or “mash-up” of a holiday. DJs needed to keep people hopping during the spring planting season so they took the solid beats of ancient Judaism and crossed it with some fresh new Pagan grooves. And then they named it all after some club fox goddess called Eostre.

But surely the oddest custom used to take place in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, where there was a tradition of spanking or whipping of woman on Easter Monday. In the morning, males throw water at females and spank them with a special handmade whip. The spanking is symbolic and normally not painful or intended to cause suffering. A legend says females should be spanked in order to keep their health and beauty during the next year.

As bizarre as this is, I’ve seen them do it in Hungary. Men will get up extra early and go door-to-door to every woman they know. They’ll splash them with water and perfume. For this, the men are rewarded with drinks and snacks and more drinks. The women of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia certainly are kept healthy and beautiful, so maybe there’s something to this odd legend.

And besides, how often does your average guy get to perfume and spank attractive women you barely know?

It’s sort of like our Halloween tradition, except you know without the kids and with a whole lot more spanking and drunkenness.

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