A few days ago, I started to see on my Facebook newsfeed several events mentioning some Zelene Pivo which means “green beer”. I was wondering the reason why the beer would be green in the Czech Republic. I had never heard of anything like it. To me, it could have been some fancy or silly way to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, but I have not even seen such a thing while I was living on the Emerald Island.
So, I did a little bit of research and I learnt a few things. It turns out, it is linked to… Easter! As you may know, Easter symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The week before Easter is called the Holy week including Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Let’s focus on Maundy Thursday. It is commemorating the Last Supper, when Jesus had his last meal with his apostles.
In the Czech Republic, Maundy Thursday is also known as Zelený čtvrtek (Green Thursday). It refers to the green color because before the thirteen century, priests were wearing green vestments to celebrate the Mass. Another explanation is that the penitents, who were readmitted to church, wore sprigs of green herbs to show their joy. They were called the “Green Ones”. Besides, on Maundy Thursday, people were allowed to have only one meal during the day, and that meal had to be meatless. Only vegetables were eaten. Nowadays, the tradition wants you to consume something green such as salad or spinach.
In order to follow the folklore, the well-known brewery Starobrno started to produce a special batch of green beer, which is only produce once per year! It became a national phenomenon and you should be able to find some Zelene Pivo anywhere is the Czech Republic on Zelený čtvrtek ! Now there is absolutely no reason why you should not take part into the Czech folklore ! Na zdraví !