The Croatian word for Easter, Uskrs, means “resurrection”, and here, as in most Catholic countries, it’s a holiday whose importance closely rivals Christmas. Holy Week starts one week before Easter Sunday with Cvjetna Nedjelja (Flower Sunday), when people take decorative twigs to church to be blessed, to protect their homes for the coming year.
The following week consists of cleaning and decorating the home to symbolise the rebirth of spring, and preparing traditional cakes and breads. On Holy Thursday, church bells are tied up for three days in respect of the Last Supper. At this time, one may not plough, sow or chop wood. Both the earth and our bodies must be allowed to rest and regenerate. Good Friday is not treated as a public holiday here.
On Easter Saturday, you are most likely to find people colouring and decorating eggs in traditional style. There are many other traditions for this day, one example being burning wood in front of the church and carrying home the ash.
On Easter Sunday, those of a churchgoing persuasion will take traditional Easter food to be blessed, usually bread, ham, decorated eggs, spring onions, horseradish, salt and cake. Usually these are carried in a wicker basket covered with an embroidered cloth. Then it’s time to spend the rest of the day at home eating: this is considered a family celebration.