How will you celebrate Easter? Check out these unusual traditions…
Pace Egg plays!
These plays were performed on Good Friday the drama involves a form of a combat between a villain named Old Tosspot and the hero St George. Historically the actors were working class men and women who toured the villages performing in pubs and on the street as a way of earning extra money.
In the plays someone is always killed, this may be St George or a Turkish Knight known as Bold Slasher. The poor fellow is however revived by a comic doctor, linking to the Easter themes of death and rebirth
The use of the word Pace is linked to the Latin word Pacha which translates to Easter. The egging part comes from the fact that performers were given eggs which were wrapped in onion skins and carefully boiled. They’d receive other gifts too, including money as an incentive to perform by the crowd. Some believe the phrase ‘to egg someone on’ originates from when rival groups of performers found themselves in the same village and traded insults. They also had wooden sword fights and even tried to steal each others Pace Eggs!
The practice of egg rolling has become a tradition all on its own both in the UK and abroad. Pace eggs were
once rolled but it is now usually hard boiled decorated eggs which are rolled down a grassy hill with an ensuing competition to see whose egg can roll fastest and remain unharmed.
The exact symbolism of egg rolling isn’t clear, but as eggs have links to the Easter and Spring themes of rebirth, renewal and fertility this seems to provide some reasoning for it. They became symbolic of the rolling away of the rock from Jesus Christ’s tomb before his resurrection.
Whipping Monday is linked to countries such as Slovakia and the Czech Republic. In Slovakia women are doused by men with water and whipped with braided willow branches. This is said to symbolise youth and strength and make women healthy for the Spring. The men then get a reward from the lady in question which is a dyed egg, a ribbon tied around their whip and for adults an invite in for some food and vodka. Some men also receive coins. In the Czech version there is no water. Just the whipping and here the implement is called the pomlazka with the tradition ending at noon.
Whatever you end up doing, have a Happy Easter!