Easter customs vary from country to country throughout the Christian world: in the Czech Republic many of the customs - such as painting eggs and whipping girls to ensure fertility - actually pre-date the birth of Christ. Others are based in Christianity: in some Czech villages boys shake rattles in place of church bells, which, legend has it, have flown to Rome in mourning of Christ's death. Pagan and early Christian rituals have survived 2000 years of social and cultural change, and continue to thrive, as Irena Valkova reports:
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