Fun Easter Traditions from Around the World
Easter is a Christian celebration celebrated uniquely throughout the world! Here are a handful of interesting and unique ways that other countries celebrate and pay homage to this holy day.
Greece and Albania:
Easter is known around the world for multi-colored, decorated eggs. However, in Greece and parts of Albania (where you’ll find people of the Greek Orthodox faith) you will find only red eggs! The egg has been a sign of rebirth since ancient times, and the color red represents Christ's blood and victory over death. It is also traditional to make a huge Easter bread with hard-boiled colored eggs weaved in! Yummy!
Slovakia and Czech Republic:
In Slovakia and Czech Republic, men and boys will walk the streets in the morning with decorated willow switches looking for girls to 'lightly' whip. The whipping is not intended to be a punishment of any kind but is to encourage good health and beauty. You may not find it surprising that this tradition is now seen as quite controversial.
Another interesting tradition in Slovakia is all the men leave to visit family and neighbors later in the day while the women stay home. They knock on their doors and wish the women to be healthy and beautiful. Then they throw a little water on them and spray their hats with perfumes to smell beautiful the entire year. The women then invite them inside to hangout and eat Slovakian food.
In Sicily, Easter is a whole week-long celebration! They have holy processions with religious symbols, reenactments, and prayers, and they have a feast of the lamb. This is because the lamb is a symbolic animal that represents the sacrifice of Jesus.
Semana Santa is Holy week in Spain. Just like in Sicily, Spain celebrates for an entire week. In Seville, the pinnacle of the celebration is the night of Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), when all the processions start their march to the Cathedral. On the dawn of Good Friday, people gather in front of the Seville Cathedral to commemorate all the events that led to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In certain areas, there are also rituals of destroying rag dolls that represent Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus.
Residents of Haux, France, make and serve an enormous omelet on Easter Monday. They use more than 4,500 eggs and feed up to 1,000 people!
In Sweden, children dress up as Easter witches in old clothes. Similar to American Halloween, the kids walk around their neighborhoods trading their artwork for treats.
In Poland, families get together and eat a filling Easter Sunday breakfast. The most famous part of this meal is the babka, a special bread that traditionally has raisins and a thin glaze on top of it.
In Ethiopia, the night before Easter they hold a somber vigil, but when morning comes, dancing and music break out. Families and communities spend Easter Sunday at church and then in their homes, eating and celebrating with loved ones.
In Bermuda, flying kites is a way of celebrating this holy holiday. The story goes that a local Sunday school teacher launched a kite into the air that looked like Jesus to help the students understand the ascension, and the tradition was born. Now people make their own homemade kites to fly on Good Friday.
In Australia, you’ll find egg hunts and egg coloring as people do in the U.S, but what sets it apart is the tradition of hot cross buns. This tradition is making its way over to America now as I have started to see hot cross buns in Wegmans and other places as Easter approaches.
However, this is a big deal in Australia, and every family stocks up before the holiday and warms them in the oven on Easter morning. What a beautiful thing it is to wake up to the scent of warm hot cross buns, colorful eggs, and lots of chocolate!
If you have some interesting Easter traditions from your culture that were not mentioned here please share! We would love to know more!