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Easter is over, and you knew that because Peeps are on sale and also because you probably own and look at a calendar. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning nice and early for next year.

Turns out American Easters are kind of tame and, compared with European traditions, downright dull. Sure, overeating spiral-baked ham, fishing colored eggs from the roof gutters and spending four hours in church can be sweet.

But then I discovered folks in northern parts of the Netherlands and Germany celebrate by lighting stuff on fire. Bonfires beat spiral-baked ham just like rock beats scissors.

If you’re Finnish, Danish, Swedish or awesome, you might dress your kids up like witches and send them to the neighbors to ask for candy. If the neighbor hands it over, the witchkid rewards them with a decorated pussy willow. I don’t know what I’d do with a decorated pussy willow, but I know I wouldn’t want to be the neighbor without one.

Norwegians take several days off to catch up on their crime and detective stories, because nothing says He Has Risen like several hours of Poirot.

Hands down, the coolest Easter tradition I’ve come across is Czech and Slovakian.

In certain villages, women spend Easter Sunday much like the girls do here in the States: they make eggs look pretty, they cook a ton of food, they go to church. The men however, spend the day weaving together willow rods to make handmade whips. I’m picturing something Indiana Jones would like, but have since been informed these whips aren’t good for snatching artifacts or swinging across crumbling, booby-trapped walkways.

Anyway, in the morning on Easter Monday (that’s the day after Easter, which is a holiday, too), the guys grab their whips and go from house to house, getting served shots and “lightly” spanking their lady neighbors. If you are a Czech man in a decent-sized village, you are probably hammered by noon.

The “why” behind the spankings depends upon whom you’re asking, but everybody is quick to point out the spankings are more like little taps. Some say the spank-taps knock the winter off the ladies’ legs, some attest it’s a beauty regimen, and some claim the spankings are to shoo the Devil out of them.

This is by far the most hilarious explanation, because everyone knows you can’t beat the Devil out of a woman — you have to coax him out using bits of apple and your most soothing voice.

But anyway, ladies who are not spanked get a little huffy about it — and what girl wouldn’t? I’d love to have the winter and the Devil knocked out of me while getting pretty — but here in the States you have to pay a spa more than $100 to get that kind of thing done.

Once the men have gone ’round and spanked and drank until they can’t spank and drink anymore, there’s a break for lunch and then the women go about tossing buckets of cold water on the men. And they can pour cold water on whatever men they want to pour cold water on, not just neighbors.

This could be incredible if you knew where the photo radar dude lived.

I could have spent my entire Sunday tossing cold water on men, lighting bonfires, passing out pussy willows to little witches and watching “Midsommer Murders.”

Instead, I baked a cake and watched “Shaun of the Dead.” There’s always next year.

Jeanine Fritz opines on European holiday traditions each Friday in the Colorado Daily.