Rare 'marching Judas' procession kicks off in Czechia

'Burning judas' Easter procession.
'Burning judas' Easter procession. Copyright Euronews
By Euronews
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The folk custom takes place in a handful of villages across Bohemia - but nobody really knows why


This unusual Easter-time ritual takes place in just 28 villages in Czechia's Pardubice Region. 

The eldest boy in each village dresses up in a straw suit and is marched in a procession through the village.

The tradition is known as "Vodění Jidáše" and is loosely translated to "Marching Judas".

Some say this ritual was first documented as early as 1893 although no one knows exactly where it came from.

According to Euronews correspondent Jiri Skacel, the burning is related to magic and a religious understanding of nature. 

"It's a kind of springtime personal cleansing," he adds.

In 2015 the Czechia mint issued a gold coin to commemorate this folk custom, which was nominated for UNESCO protection as part of that nation's cultural heritage.

**WATCHE_uronews correspondent Jiri Skacel's report in_the video in the player above.**

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