Whilst we’re on Easter egg hunts and enjoying time spent with family on Easter Sunday, countries across the globe are celebrating the festival rather differently! Here are just a few examples of Easter around the world…
Alongside traditional Easter eggs, American children are also given baskets of candy by the Easter Bunny, who is as exciting as Santa Claus over there. An Easter Parade is held in New York City, and over in Washington the President holds an annual Easter egg roll on the White House lawn!
Czech Republic and Slovakia:
An interesting one! A tradition of the men spanking and whipping the women takes place on Easter morning, as legend has it over there that being spanked with a whip ensures women’s continued health and beauty over the next year. Some women give the men a small amount of money as a token of appreciation; however it cannot always be appreciated, as many women get their revenge by throwing cold water over the men the following day! This tradition has been adapted in Poland to become an all-day water fight on Easter Monday.
In Germany, decorated Easter eggs are hung on tree branches, creating ‘Easter egg trees’.
The tradition is to light great fires in school and church yards, as young boys enthusiastically gather wood to ensure their fire is bigger than the neighbouring one. This only ever ends badly though, with police being called out to extinguish out of control fires!
In Hungary a lovely tradition named ‘watering’ involves being sprinkled with perfume in exchange for an Easter egg.
In this part of the world there lies a tradition to read and watch murder mysteries at Easter time. All the major TV channels show crime and detective shows, and novels of this genre are even scheduled to be published around Easter.
Finland, Sweden and Denmark:
These countries also celebrate Easter in a spookier way, with small children dressing as witches collecting candy door-to-door, very much like our Halloween.
This country’s traditions mirror the religious story more than others, with traditional kite flying celebrations to symbolise Christ’s ascent from the crucifix.
The Netherlands, Belgium and France:
These countries hold a myth that their church bells fly out of the steeples and go to Rome for the days leading up to Easter Sunday, therefore they don’t chime. The bells return on Easter morning, to ring out on Easter Sunday.
Scotland, North of England and Northern Ireland:
Apparently, in this neck of the woods, the tradition is to roll decorated eggs down steep hills… Maybe there just aren’t as many hills in the South?!