Petra Pospěchová’s recently published Regionální Kuchařka, or Regional Cookbook, is full of interesting recipes from around the Czech Republic, from her native Valašsko in the east of the country to the former Sudetenland in the west and all points in between, with each section introducing readers to a dozen or so local specialities. When I met Pospěchová, one of the country’s best-known food writers, I asked her if it had perhaps taken somebody from outside Prague to put together such a book.
Five people have died in car accidents on Czech roads since Friday, the second lowest number of casualties in 15 years. Four victims died on Friday, two of them in a single crash near Teplice. On Monday, several serious accidents occurred; five people were injured after a car crashed into a bus near Hodonín, in south Moravia. The lowest number of road casualties in the last 15 years was recorded in 2003 when three people died over the Easter weekend.
Traditional folk customs are observed on Easter Monday, a public holiday in the Czech Republic. In a popular custom known as pomlázka, male carollers whip women and girls get with braided willow sticks decorated with ribbons. In return, they give men painted eggs. The custom has pre-Christian roots in pagan fertility rites. Legend has it that women that go whipped on Easter Monday will remain healthy and fertile for the entire year.
In the Czech Republic, celebrations of the moveable holiday of Easter combine Christian traditions and age-old pagan customs. Music plays an important part in the celebrations, spanning from folk chants to religious oratorios. In this year’s Easter Monday special we will give you a taste of Czech Easter music, from carols to cantatas.
The A line of Prague metro has been closed for maintenance work for the duration of the Easter holidays. The entire line closed on Friday afternoon, and is set to reopen on Tuesday, April 22nd. Prague’s transport authority advise travellers to use the XA tram line instead, or other tram and bus lines. English-speaking staffers at metro stations are providing information about alternative routes, a spokesman for the transport firm said.
Traffic police are expected to be out in force for the Easter weekend when thousands of people leave the big cities for the long Easter break. According to a spokesman for the traffic police officers plan to focus particularly on speeding, drink-driving and soft drugs. Drivers should expect heavy traffic especially on the D1 highway from Prague to Brno which is undergoing reconstruction with traffic along certain stretches restricted to one lane.
The Prague metro management has announced that it plans to close the A line of the Prague metro for extensive maintenance work over the Easter holidays. The entire stretch of the A-line will be closed from 5.30 pm Friday, April 18, until midnight Monday, April 21. Replacement trams and busses will be in operation over the long weekend.
Meteorologists say that in certain parts of the Czech Republic Czechs enjoyed the warmest Christmas in over a century. The monitoring station in Opava, Silesia, measured a high of 8.7 degrees on Christmas Day which broke a 151-year-old record. Přerov reported a high of 9.3 degrees Celsius, the highest in 140 years. Temperatures tend to be higher in the Czech capital where the warmest Christmas ever monitored was in 1983 where the Klementinum monitoring station recorded 14.6 degrees Celsius.
Prague is gearing up for end-of-year celebrations, with thousands of people expected to join the annual mega-party on Wenceslas Square. Also, with 180,000 tourists about to descend on the Czech capital hotels and restaurants are stocking up on champagne and preparing gourmet menus for the big night.