Easter Traditions Around The World - Easter Celebrations From 11 Countries


easter 2021


Easter traditions around the world

There are different Easter traditions in almost every country. Some are very traditional, while others are pretty crazy and absurd. To give you a little insight, I would like to introduce you to the most diverse Easter customs in the world today. But even if some of them may be absurd for us - for the respective country that celebrates this tradition, they are probably the most normal thing in the world.

Easter in France

A gigantic omelet made from over 15,000 eggs is prepared on Easter Monday in the French commune of Bessières - and that is more eggs than there are residents here. The number of inhabitants is currently just under 4,100. The oversized omelet is then diligently distributed to all the locals, but also to the curious tourists.

The omelet as a symbol of friendship and cultural exchange
This tradition dates from the Napoleonic period. Allegedly Napoleon ate such a good omelet while he was in Bessières at Easter that he ordered a huge omelet to be made for the whole army the next day. This custom has continued since then and anyone who comes to the event today is allowed to try a piece of it. The omelet is a symbol of friendship and cultural exchange - a giant omelet is also prepared at Easter in several cities in the USA and Canada.

easter worldwide

Easter in Italy

Many of us associate Italy with good food - so it is very clear that, of course, a national dish should not be missing on the table on Easter Sunday. While some families serve the Torta Pasqualina, a salty cake with boiled eggs and spinach, others prefer the traditional Easter pigeon, the Colomba Pasquale. It is a kind of Gugelhupf, a sweet cake with granulated sugar and almonds.

In many places, on Good Friday people wander through the streets with the church cross on their backs
But that is not the only Easter custom that Italians celebrate. In many places, Good Friday is wandered through the streets with the church cross on their backs. This ritual walk through the dark alleys is intended to be a tacit reminder of the suffering of Jesus. Only a few candles light the way. So while you mourn on the day of Jesus' death, the day of his resurrection is all the happier: you go on an excursion with friends and family or plan a cozy picnic. You already know which pastries should not be missing in the picnic basket. Kind of nice, this tradition, isn't it?

Easter in England

In order to slowly approach the crazy Easter customs, let's take a look at England. Starting with the fact that the English grab pussy willow twigs for Easter to pat their counterparts with, it continues with the fact that they hope that this act will bring happiness to the next year. It gets even funnier in the town of Olney. For more than 500 years, a traditional pancake race has been held here every year on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent between the beginning of February and the beginning of March. No wonder that at that time nobody is talking about Easter for a long time, but above all the so-called Pancake Day is on everyone's lips.

Easter in Bulgaria

Looking for Easter eggs was yesterday. How about a wild egg fight for a change? It is traditionally held in Bulgaria as soon as the mass on Easter Sunday ends. Neither the church walls nor the loved ones from the family circle are spared - the eggs just fly in a high arc. But in this country too, of course, nothing happens without a reason: those who do not get an egg should consider themselves lucky, but rather those whose egg does not break in the event of an impact! The Bulgarians believe that he will be rewarded with a year of full success - more precisely with the reputation of the most successful family member of the next year.

Looking for Easter eggs was yesterday

But before the eggs can even be thrown, they are colored in this country too. The red color, which is supposed to symbolize the blood of Jesus, goes first. It is therefore both tradition and duty to color the first egg red. As soon as that happens, the eldest woman in the house is brought in and rubs the said egg on the faces of all the children in the family. It is believed that this is how children are blessed with health and strength.

easter worldwide

Easter in Finland

You have to be tough when you visit Finland over the Easter holidays. Because here it is common practice to whip each other with birch rods. Yes, you read that right. The birch branches are supposed to remind of the palm fronds with which Jesus was once welcomed in Jerusalem. But of course, that's not the only tradition. Here, too, there are the popular Easter bonfires, with which one does not associate something religious like in this country, but rather wants to drive away from the so-called Easter witches, who, according to old Scandinavian belief, fly through the air between Good Friday and Easter.

Easter in Sweden

Almost everyone is enthusiastic about the world-famous Swedish furniture store - but what about the Swedes' Easter decorations? You will find birch twigs with colorful feather fluff at almost every house. Easter customs already begin on Maundy Thursday in Sweden: girls and boys dress up as Easter women and distribute so-called Easter letters. In case you're wondering what Easter women actually look like - the costumes consist of long skirts and headscarves. As a thank you, they often get sweets or even a little money from the neighbors. In the west of the country, there is also a completely different tradition: with fireworks, any noise, and the Easter bonfires, which are also known to us, one chases away the evil Easter witches who have previously united with the devil. Another very funny custom: unmarried women sneak to spring on Easter Vigil to get some Easter water. Without even giving a peep, the chosen one must be surprised in their sleep or, better said, poured water over them. Because only then will the future together look bright.

Easter in the Philippines

It becomes completely absurd in the Philippines. As soon as the church bells ring on Easter Sunday, all parents reach for their children and lift them up. But not in the way you are probably imagining now - no, the children are held up by their heads, believing that it will make them grow better. Other countries other manners.

Easter in the USA

I can imagine that you are looking forward to the Easter customs of the USA because the United States of America is known for having to exaggerate always and everywhere. The traditional Easter Parade is also held on 5th Avenue in New York at Easter, where all people march through the streets in colorful costumes and with colorful flowers. The background to the tradition is the time when people bought new clothes and special hats for Easter to present them on a walk after the Easter service. Washington has also come up with something special. Every year the White House hosts the famous White House Easter Egg Roll, in which children have to roll a hard-boiled egg down the hill as quickly as possible using a wooden spoon.

A very special Easter egg hunt also takes place every year in the Florida Keys. On Easter Sunday, Captain Spencer Slate hides numerous eggs in the diving area off Islamorada. The so-called "Underwater Easter Egg Hunt" takes place every year at Easter in the crystal clear, warm water on the Florida coast. What is particularly funny is that Spencer wears a huge, white plush rabbit costume over his diving equipment while he hides the eggs in the reef.

Easter in Poland

It is wet and happy on Easter Monday in Poland. At Lany Poniedziałek, or “wet Monday” in English, a wild water fight is held there and people try to get themselves wet from top to bottom using buckets, water pistols, and other vessels. The real meaning of this tradition goes back to the 19th century. Back then it was only men who showered their chosen ones with water. If a woman was spared, it was said, she would remain unmarried for the rest of the year. But this custom has loosened over the years so that today women also use water buckets and other means and take an active part in the water fight. But everyone knows secretly: the prettier a woman is, the more likely she is to have an (unwanted) shower.

Easter in Guatemala

Easter is particularly colorful in Guatemala. The air is filled with a mixture of floral scent and incense. People dressed in purple, accompanied by a marching band, carry large sculptures of Jesus through the streets. Probably the largest Easter festival in the world is celebrated in the small town of Antigua. The whole city takes part in the huge event and numerous tourists come here especially for this highlight. Every evening bands play outside of the churches and people gather to eat together.

A mixture of floral fragrances and incense

The highlight, however, is a different one: the city's youngsters spend weeks laying out a gigantic carpet of flowers in the streets. For their work of art, the faithful scattered more than 1,200 sacks of sawdust and then distributed countless colorful flowers in, particularly beautiful patterns. The patterns are inspired by Mayan symbols as well as biblical images and natural spectacles, which shows the mixture of Christian and Indian culture particularly well. With a length of over two kilometers, the carpet is even listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest flower carpet in the world.

Easter in Scotland

Egg rolling is practiced with great enthusiasm in Scotland. Hard-boiled eggs are usually rolled on a sloping road until the shell is completely broken. The teammate whose egg has gone the furthest without breaking wins. Even if the whole thing sounds more like crazy fun, there is a religious ulterior motive in the game: The rolling of the eggs is supposed to symbolize the rolling away of the stones in front of the grave of Jesus.

Easter in Greece

In Vrontado on the Greek island of Chios, around 60,000 hand-made firework rockets aimed at the bell tower of the competing parish are fired on the night before Easter Sunday. The tradition goes back to the time of the Ottoman occupation when it is said that the celebration of Easter was forbidden. The parishes pretended to be a war to successfully drive away from the Ottomans and to be able to celebrate Easter peacefully. 

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