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AROUND SLOVAKIA

Brehy's tradition

A PUB in the village of Brehy in Banská Bystrica Region will remain decorated with a 1.5-metre whip woven from willow branches until Easter 2012. These kinds of whips are used on Easter Monday to symbolically ‘whip’ Slovak women and girls – in one of the country’s strangest traditions, at least to foreigners. The whip to be displayed in the local pub won a competition on April 16 as the longest whip made this year in Brehy.

A PUB in the village of Brehy in Banská Bystrica Region will remain decorated with a 1.5-metre whip woven from willow branches until Easter 2012. These kinds of whips are used on Easter Monday to symbolically ‘whip’ Slovak women and girls – in one of the country’s strangest traditions, at least to foreigners. The whip to be displayed in the local pub won a competition on April 16 as the longest whip made this year in Brehy.

“In our village a big whip used to be woven before Easter and on Easter Sunday young lads went around the houses in the village and asked girls for braids. The whip was then hung in the pub and stayed there until the next Easter. That was our tradition,” Mária Fialová, one of the organisers, told the TASR newswire.

She added that the winning whip this year is not very long. “This year the willow tree lost its blooms very quickly and the branches were hard so the whip is relatively short,” she said. In addition to the competition for the longest whip, local artisans presented other traditional crafts. Aficionados of pottery, hand-decorated Easter eggs, wreaths and willow whips could admire these handcrafts as well as feast on traditional home-made meals.


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