Easter tradition carried on

The Vodění Jidáše in Stradouň Credit: Stradouň Council

Traditions often continue even though no-one remembers why they started and around 12 villages in the Czech Republic have their own special Easter tradition.

Marching Judas

Known as the Vodění Jidáše (roughly translated as Marching Judas), it consists of dressing the oldest boy in the town in a costume made of hay with a huge cap made of rye stalks and marching him through the village leading a parade of younger boys armed with noisy rattles to announce their arrival.

Singing as they go, they stop at each house in the village and when the residents come out, they serenade them in expectation of receiving a gift of chocolate or possibly chicken eggs and because there are so many gifts, some of the children pull little carts to store them in.

In the village of Stradouň, the route covers an uncomfortable three kilometres with the Judas barely able to see and with his arms restricted by the hay suit.

Eventually, when every house has been visited, he is helped out of his suit which is then ceremonially burned whilst the youngsters divide the proceeds.

No-one knows why it started

Although many of the songs are hymns dating back to the 16th century, it is believed that the tradition only dates back to the 19th century although no-one appears to know why it was introduced in the first place.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing newsdesk@euroweeklynews.com, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews