Easter Traditions From Around The World
Easter is one of the worlds most celebrated events, with many countries using the Easter season as a public holiday. Although Easter is such a renowned event, there isn't just one way to celebrate it. In fact, most countries have their own little unique Easter traditions to show homage to Easter! To celebrate Easter in true traveller's style, we've found some fun Easter traditions around the world that you might want to add to your travel list. From fun egg-smashing games to show-stopping firework displays, here's how other countries celebrate Easter!
Easter Traditions Around The World:
Giant Omelettes And Flying Bells In France
Known for it's great food, France doesn't disappoint with its strange and quirky Easter traditions! In the town of Bessières, in the South West of France, residents all get together in the streets on Easter Monday to prepare a giant Easter omelette which is shared with the entire town. Approximately 15,000 eggs are used and it takes the town 40 cooks and a huge 4-meter pan and sticks to cook the omelette to perfection! This Easter tradition actually stems from Napoleon's visit to the town, where apparently he enjoyed his omelette so much that he ordered a huge one for his army to eat in the morning.
If you're looking for a chocolatey Easter treat, it won't be the Easter bunny that brings you your goodies. In France, chocolate is brought by the flying Easter bells! To commemorate the death of Jesus during the Easter period, church bells are not rung between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Children are told that the bells have flown over to Rome to be blessed by the Pope. On Easter Sunday morning, the bells return and chocolates and sweets are given - you can even find chocolate shaped bells in most French stores!
The Pope's Procession And Exploding Carts In Italy
Italy has some fantastic Easter traditions unlike any other country! Home to the city of Rome and the place where the Vatican state resides, the Pope hosts an Easter mass on Good Friday. After the mass in Saint Peter's Basilica the Pope will start his walk to remember Christ's crucifixion with a candlelit procession on Palatine Hill. Even for those who aren't religious, the procession is said to be a magical and awe-inspiring event!
But it's not all about the Pope when it comes to Italy's Easter celebrations. In Florence, locals celebrate Scoppio del Carro, known in English as the "explosion of the cart". An ornate cart is jam packed with fireworks and paraded through the streets by people in colourful 15th century attire. The cart stops at Duomo, where the Archbishop of Florence then lights a fuse leading to the cart during the Easter mass. Locals and visitors alike will watch the magnificent firework display coming from inside the cart. the colourful explosions are supposed to indicate a good harvest and this tradition leads as far back as the first crusade!
Easter Witches In Finland And Sweden
An Easter Tradition shared by both Finland and Sweden are Easter Witches. A fun Easter tradition for your little ones, children will dress up as witches with colourful clothing and painted freckles. On Holy Saturday and Palm Sunday children dressed as witches will go around their neighbourhoods knocking on doors and singing rhymes for treats - similar to Halloween's Trick or Treat'ing!
The witches come armed with baskets full of willow twigs decorated with colourful feathers and crepe paper. They will them recite a rhyme using the twigs which is said to banish evil spirits, and in return, the witches receive chocolate eggs and other sweet treats. This Easter tradition is actually a combination of two older traditions - a Russian Orthodox ritual where birch twigs were used as a symbol to represent the palms laid down when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; and a Swedish and Finnish tradition where children made fun of evil witches they feared roamed on Easter Saturday.
Holy Saturday Bonfires And Easter Trees In Germany
If you're interested in Easter traditions around the world that have a mix of family and adult fun, Germany is the place to be! Both Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays in Germany, and they're spent celebrating Easter by lighting sunset bonfires known as 'osterfeuer' or 'Easter fire'. Some of these Easter bonfires are made into full-on events with funfair rides, alcohol, and yummy German foods.
For those who are interested in more child-friendly Easter traditions, you'll love the Easter tree! Named the Ostereierbaum in German, this is a small household tree that is decorated with hand painted eggs with colourful designs and patterns. Most Easter trees are just a selection of small branches put into a vase and decorated with eggs, however some families head into their gardens to decorate real trees outside their homes! No one really knows when or where this Easter tradition came from, but it holds a magical feel to it, similar to that of decorating a Christmas tree.
Red Eggs And Clay Pot Breaking In Greece
In Greece, there are some quirky Easter traditions that are quite interesting! On the island of Corfu, residents throw clay pots from their balconies as soon as the clock hits 11am on Holy Saturday. This tradition supposedly came from the 16th century and was done to scare away evil spirits by throwing out clay pots that were no longer wanted. The breaking of the pots are said to scare away evil and mark a new beginning to the year.
In other parts of Greece, however, you'll find households full of red eggs. This popular Greek Easter tradition is supposed to symbolise Jesus Christ. Eggs are boiled and painted or dyed red to represent the blood and resurrection of Jesus. On Easter Sunday, families will come together at the dinner table with their red eggs and do the “tsougrisma” of the eggs. This is a fun Easter game for both adults and children similar to the UK's game Conkers. Everyone picks an egg and will take turns hitting one egg on top of the other in attempts to break the other person's egg. The person with no cracks on their egg wins and is said to receive good luck for the rest of the year!
Now that you've heard some of the fun Easter traditions around the world, will you be trying out a few? Better yet, will you be adding these destinations to your Easter Holiday list to experience for yourself? If you're jetting off to celebrate Easter in another country don't forget to prepare for any language barriers! Download the free MyJuno translation app or grab a set of CLIK S translation earbuds with 20% off ready for your Easter travels!