Hundreds of thousands of Czech Christian celebrate Easter, the most important festival in the Christian calendar. According to the Biblical tradition, Easter Sunday marks the resurrection of the Savior Jesus Christ, who was crucified on Great Friday. The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, delivered his traditional Easter greeting and blessing, known as Urbi et Orbi, in Rome on Sunday in 65 languages; a message in the Czech came 15th. In the Czech Republic, where a majority of the population is not religious, people observe folklore traditions more than the religious ones; on Easter Monday, boys and men whip girls and women with elaborately braided willow sticks in exchange for Easter eggs, which was believed to ensure fertility and good health over the next year.
Inhabitants of Biskupice, a small community in eastern Bohemia, made a record-breaking Easter egg. The egg, which is made of willow sticks, is nearly three metres tall and measures nearly five metres in circumference. The mayor of the village said it took fourteen people four days to braid the egg.
Brno City Hall officials would like to negotiate with far-right extremists changes to their march through the city centre on May 1, the news agency ČTK reported on Sunday. A City Hall official said they would like the march to start at a different location rather than the originally planned Koliště park which is not suitable for security reasons. However, Brno City Hall does not want to push for the change of the route of the march that will lead through Romany-populated areas in the city centre.
Several hundred far-right extremists are expected to take part in the march officially held in protest against immigrant workers. Brno authorities tried to ban the march but a court overturned the ban. Several NGOs are planning to stage their own counter-rallies in Brno on May 1 to prevent the extremists to march through Romany neighbourhoods.
Eleven people have died on Czech roads since the start of the Easter weekend, despite a police road-safety operation. Traffic police said they would conduct an increased number of checks over the Easter weekend, focusing on speeding and drink driving, the most common cause of accidents in the Czech Republic. Last year, 6 people died in road crashes on Easter, and 16 were killed the previous year.
Czech fans of Michael Jackson walked through Prague on Sunday to raise money for charity. On their way from Old Town to Wenceslas Square, several dozen fans of the late pop icon performed some of Michael Jackson’s original dance sets. In Old Town Square, members of the Czech Republic’s Heal the World project sold Easter-themed souvenirs; the proceeds will go to the children’s department at Prague’s Thomayerova hospital.
Czech meteorologists have warned against torrential rains that will his the country on Sunday night. In the north-eastern part of the Czech Republic, up to 30 mm of rain fall is expected later on Sunday and Monday. Moravia and Silesia, in the east of the country, weather forecasters also expect storms and hail.
The Czech Republic’s national hockey team is facing Sweden in on Sunday, as part of the Czech Hockey Games, a preparatory tournament for the upcoming world championships in Slovakia. Regardless of the game’s result, the Czech won the tournament after beating Finland 2:1 on Friday and Russia 6:3 on Saturday. Czech coach Alois Hadamczik said the team’s first line with Jaromír Jágr, Roman Červenka and Petr Průcha played well together; another star, Patrik Eliáš, has already joined the team but will probably leave out Sunday’s match against Sweden.
The current spell of sunny will end at the start of next week, and lower temperatures with occasional rain will set in. Daytime highs will range around 20 degrees Celsius.