Easter is celebrated in various ways around the world – with traditional food and interesting ways of egg hunt, festivals, releasing paper dragons, spilling water and colourful Easter eggs, and all in the glory of health, power and revival.
In France, after the traditional Mass on Easter Sunday and egg hunt in the garden, the family gathers to eat roasted lamb at the festive table. The next day is usually reserved for a family trip, while in the southwest on Easter Monday a giant omelette is made for the whole family.
Italians welcome the holiday with the Colombo, a cake in the shape of a dove, a symbol of good news, and a golden Easter cake, mona, sometimes with eggs arranged on the surface before baking.
The Spanish are dressed in white during the Holy week and organize plays and events they have been preparing a few months earlier.
In England, ham is mainly served instead of lamb. Of course, Easter eggs are a compulsory part of the holiday, and on this occasion various games for both children and adults are organized. Children often go from house to house ask for candy, as is the custom on Halloween.
This tradition is especially common in Finland, where children at Easter disguise as an old woman or a witch, and they knock on neighbors’ doors to get candy and chocolate. The “Easter Witch” tradition called Virpominen comes from an ancient legend according to which the trolls and witches come out between Good Friday and Easter.
This tradition has been practiced in Sweden for about a 100 years too, and in the Scandinavian countries it is believed that for Easter you should be up early because you can see the sun dance. The yellow color of the sun, by the way, is the best color to decorate eggs in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
Swiss decorate fountains before Easter, paying tribute to water, which is essential for life. This represents a celebration of renewed life.
In Poland we come across to the same symbol: water is here also a symbol of life and also a part of the Easter holidays. On Easter Monday friends sprinkle each other with water to “wash away sins”, and so that day and called Smigus Dingus, meaning “wet Monday “.
In Germany the traditional “Easter Fire” brings together parents and children in the evening, and is a symbol of the sun which celebrates spring and the end of the winter period. Germans have another tradition – Osterbaum, an Easter tree or a bush decorated with colored shells of eggs and fruit that symbolize the return of heat. The children in the country are preparing a small nest in which, as is believed, the rabbit brings chocolate eggs.
In the United States the Easter rabbit usually brings children chocolate bunnies, candy and marshmallow among other gifts. The US President organizes the traditional Egg Roll in the garden of the White House on Easter Monday. The goal is to roll the egg the farthest possible, without breaking it.
Instead of chocolate eggs, exotic specialties such as meat iguanas, turtles and caiman are on the Colombian menu for a traditional Easter dinner. Colombians travel for hours to spend a holiday with their family and relatives in big cities and bring ingredients from distant provinces to prepare a festive meal together.
In Bermuda, handmade paper dragons are being flown on Good Friday, a symbol of Christ’s Ascension. They eat cod cake and hot pastry decorated with a cross.
In the Czech Republic an unusual custom marks Easter Monday – boys tie girls around their legs with willow twigs which is a symbol of health, youth and strength, but also shows how popular the girl is – the more twigs, the better!
Where are you from? What are the Easter traditions in your country?
Have a lovely Easter! Celebrate it in peace and love with your family!