April 20, 2014

Easter traditions around the world

Chocolate, bunnies and Easter egg hunts are some of the Easter traditions we South Africans are familiar with. But what about other countries’ traditions? Here are some fun, quirky or just very different Easter traditions from around the world.......

Here Easter is a joyous affair celebrated by flying kites on Good Friday.


Australians have the “Easter Bilby” instead of the Easter Bunny - apparently to bring awareness to the almost-extinct little creature.

Easter Eggs from the Heart of Koprivnica, a small town with the most beautiful square in continental Croatia. Local artists paint two-meter-high Easter eggs in the traditional art style. The eggs are then sent to cities throughout Croatia and abroad to be displayed in public squares in time for Easter festivities.

Haux, France
Don’t forget a fork if you’re in this southern French town on Easter Monday. Each year a giant omelette is served up in the town’s main square. The omelette uses more than 4,500 eggs and feeds up to 1,000 people. The story goes, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they stopped in a small town and ate omelettes. Napoleon liked his so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelette for his army the next day.

Communities make beautiful carpets of sawdust and flowers that are usually a mile long. These colourful and extremely detailed carpets take weeks of preparation leading up to Easter. Once it arrives, huge processions walk over the carpets as people make their way to the local church where mass is held.

Corfu, Greece
On the morning of Holy Saturday, the traditional “pot throwing” takes place on the Greek island of Corfu: People throw pots, pans and other earthenware out of their windows, smashing them on the street.

Pouring water on one another is a Polish Easter tradition called Smingus-Dyngus. On Easter Monday, boys try to drench other people with buckets of water, squirt guns or anything they can get their hands on. Legend says girls who get soaked will marry within the year.

Of all of the Easter traditions, it’s safe to say the Norwegians have the most thrilling. Påskekrim, or “Easter crime,” is a time when Norwegians read crime novels and consume crime “culture.” As peculiar as this tradition may sound, it’s rooted in history. In 1923, an editor bought ad space on the front page of a newspaper to advertise one of his authors’ crime novels. The ad appeared in large headline type as if it were an important news story, and readers quickly became fearful.

In Scotland, people roll their brightly decorated Easter eggs down a steep hill. The egg that gets the farthest without breaking wins!

The White House, USA
For 130 years, the White House has hosted the Easter Egg Roll on its South Lawn. The main activity involves rolling a coloured hard-boiled egg with a large serving spoon, but now the event boasts many more amusements, like musical groups, an egg hunt, sports and crafts.

Germans decorate trees with colorful hand-painted Easter eggs.


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