Easter Traditions around the WorldApril 13, 2017
Easter is approaching, and with this event millions of young people will enjoy delicious chocolates, but Easter is not just that…This Christian holiday commemorating the resurrection of Christ is celebrated all over the world but the traditions can be quite different. Then we’ll take you on a world tour of the Easter traditions!
During Holy Week, the bells stop ringing. And yes! They are in Rome and return in the night from Saturday to Sunday and pour on their passage chocolate eggs. Note that in some areas, it is a rabbit or a hare that takes the sweets. Sunday morning is the traditional egg hunt in the garden, then the mass for the believers before finally meeting in family around a good dish made of lamb.
The little Italians feast with the Colomba, a sweet brioche shaped like a dove that brings the “good news”. Sunday is also lamb-roast for families; while on Easter Monday, the Italians have a habit of making a picnic.
German people are preparing the Osterbaum, an Easter tree (more like a bush) that they traditionally decorate with eggs emptied, boiled and decorated by hand. The rabbit (or hare according to the regions) brings chocolate eggs in baskets made for the occasion. At nightfall, the Easter fire reunited friends and families to celebrate the end of winter and the arrival of spring.
Spain and Portugal
These two very believing countries prepare months ahead of the event. Thursdays, Fridays and Mondays are public holidays and throughout Holy Week you can attend many processions on the streets. It’s really worth seeing! La Mona is the traditional Easter bun.
Traditionally, families also gather around a tripe soup in which the heart and lungs of the paschal lamb are cooked. At table, eggs painted in red representing the blood of Christ must be broken. Not very appetizing!
A little bit like the Halloween party, the little Englishmen with their basket leave to ring at the doors to get chocolates and sweets. Many games and activities are organized for Easter and at the table we eat pig, symbol of luck for our neighbors.
Finland and Sweden
The Finns and Swedes also knock at the doors to get the precious treats but they must be disguised as trolls and witches. This tradition called Virpominen relates that witches used to go out between Good Friday and Easter. This tradition has existed in Sweden for over 100 years! And in the Scandinavian countries of which Norway and Denmark, yellow is the colour of Easter decorations in reference to the colour of the sun.
Easter Monday is called Śmigus-dyngus (meaning “Wet Monday” in Polish) and the Poles pour water on top of each other in order “to remove the peach trees”. In Wielkanoc, on Easter night, you can admire eggs decorated with wool.
Have you ever seen the finely decorated eggs of the Russians? They are true works of art whose tradition still persists today. The succulent lamb or ham meal ends with the famous kulich, a cake sprinkled with rum and sprinkled with saffron and paskha, a creamy white cheese.
United States, Canada, Australia
Aside from the few lucky ones who will go to the egg hunt at the White House, the others will wait for the “bunny” (rabbit) to drop chocolates and sweets in the gardens. In Australia, attempts have been made to replace the rabbit that causes a lot of damage in the country, by the bilby, a small marsupial, which is very much like its cousin.
Like the Australians and the English, the Americans wear chicken suits and decorate their heads with a hat with rabbit ears and seasonal flowers to make the “parade of the Easter bonnet” where all parade in the streets. Canadians are taking advantage of it to find themselves in the parks between neighbours and it seems that the Americans have the biggest hats.
Brazilians fast for Good Friday and even those who are not practicing do so too. People make scarecrows that represent Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus. Many carnivals are held to celebrate the end of Lent.
In this very practicing country, on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday, families respect the tradition of not eating meat. It is rather bad to celebrate Easter with rabbits, sweets and chocolates.
The Indian Christian families also do not eat meat for Lent and even cease their activities. On the day of Easter, the money saved due to the stoppage of these little pleasures constitutes prize money given to the priest of the church.
In this country, Easter marks the beginning of the summer holidays. There, processions begin early in the morning. Two processions are formed, one with the men following a representation of the risen Christ, the other with the women following a reproduction of the Virgin Mary. The two groups come together and it is at this time that the angels (disguised little girls) remove the veil of mourning from the Virgin who “consoles her son after her resurrection”.
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