Survey: Majority of Slovaks Views Easter Whippings in Positive Light

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Easter in Slovakia (photo courtesy of welcometobratislava.eu)

Bratislava, April 19 (TASR) – Half of Slovaks (51 percent) perceive Easter primarily as a religious holiday, whereas one third (31 percent) consider it to be a celebration of spring with many traditions and almost a fifth (18 percent) see it only as days off work without any special meaning, according to a survey conducted by Go4insight agency.

The perception of Easter differs according to age. Although all age groups are aware of the religious dimension of the holidays, it’s a dominant factor only for people over 50 and even more so for those over 70. “Young and middle-aged people have a tendency to view Easter mainly through the prism of folk traditions or days off work,” said Rastislav Kocan of Go4insight.

In terms of regions, Easter is invested with religious meaning mainly in eastern Slovakia, where two thirds of the inhabitants subscribe to this view.

As for Easter traditions, 70 percent of the respondents visit family and relatives, 67 percent decorate their homes and 66 percent also prepare special Easter dishes and biscuits.

According to the survey, 44 percent of people go to mass, 25 percent paint Easter eggs and 14 percent weave Easter whips – with the latter activities mostly carried out by families with children. The tradition of hiding and seeking Easter eggs, more popular in western Europe, is practised only by 2 percent of Slovaks, while 6 percent don’t uphold any traditions at all.

The whipping and dousing of girls [on Easter Monday] has a special place in Slovak folk traditions, and is observed by almost two fifths of Slovaks, particularly young people below 19 and families with children. Easter whippings and dousings are viewed in a positive light by 63 percent of Slovaks, among both men and women.

The survey was carried out on a sample of 1,000 respondents aged between 15-79.