Easter is the most significant holiday in Slovakia. Preparations typically begin days before Easter. People bake pastries and make festive dishes. Easter dinner menu typically consists of potato salad with mayonnaise and cooked ham. Cold cuts, boiled eggs and ham sandwiches with horseradish are served on Easter Sunday as well as on Easter Monday.
“Oblievacka” (water pouring) is a typical Easter Monday custom in Slovakia. On this day males visit their female relatives and friends and pour water on them or spray them with perfume. They may also whip them gently with special whips made of braided willow rods and decorated with ribbons. According to tradition, pouring water on women will guarantee their beauty and good health throughout the year. This tradition goes back many centuries.
Recently, oblievacka(water pouring) and sibacka (whipping) have not been as intense as they used to be in the past decades. In many regions, water buckets have been replaced with perfumes, a water cup, or a water pistol. However, in some villages you may still see groups of young men, sometimes dressed in traditional folk costumes, who come with rattles and braided whips decorated with colorful ribbons. They will take females out of the houses and douse them with a bucket or buckets filled with cold water. During this tradition men may sing songs and play the accordion.
After oblievacka and sibacka, women reward men with sweets and painted Easter eggs. Easter eggs or “kraslice ” are very popular tradition in Slovak. Kraslice are painted, dyed, or otherwise decorated blown eggs. Females typically decorate kraslice at home. While it is not required to give Easter eggs to visiting males on Easter Monday, only a few men will leave the house without a drink or small refreshment.