Easter in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia

From March 5 to May 12, 2024, the exhibition “Easter in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia” can be seen at the Regional Ethnographic Museum – Plovdiv. It tells us about the similarities and differences in the traditions of these three countries. The preserved pagan customs which are spread among them and us, can be traced; and also it can be seen how Christianity has changed folk beliefs and notions.

The spring rituals for the revival of nature, with which the Easter rituals are also associated, are presented according to the Julian and Gregorian calendars used in these countries. In Bulgaria, the cycle includes the customs of the first and second Sundays before Lent, the Masquerade Games, the “Horse” Easter – St. Todor`s Day, St. Lazar’s Day and Palm Sunday, i. e. the seven Sundays of Lent. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the lent begins with Ash Wednesday and lasts six Sundays until the Resurrection, reflecting all folk customs.

This comparison clearly outlines the rites related to agricultural sacrifices common to the three countries. And similarly St. Lazar’s Day, as a rite of initiation for the girls, is perceived as a custom with ancient roots.

The exhibition presents the rich rituals around the Resurrection itself and the different traditions that exist among us and them. Lovers of the beautifully painted eggs will be able to learn about the many different techniques used for their decoration; about the traditions preserved from the Middle Ages to the present day, and about the new methods used in the 21st century.