Easter Traditions of the World
When I was a little girl, my parents would sneak into my room the night before Easter and place an Easter basket next to my bed. When I awoke, I found before me irrefutable evidence that the Easter Bunny was no joke. He existed, and I had the goodies to prove it!
Usually, we dyed Easter eggs a few days in advance, which I always loved in theory, but generally tired of quickly in practice. Remember those silly clear crayons that came with the dye kit? You could write on the egg, and then supposedly your designs or words would magically appear after the egg was removed from the coloring. Perhaps I was just not artistically gifted, but my eggs always looked pretty amateurish.
http://www.redshift3.com/Our Easter baskets always consisted of the prerequisite jelly beans (give those to Dad), malted milk ball robins eggs, (eat those last), and an assortment of fine chocolate (won’t last the morning!). Then there would be some kind of a gift. One year it was a hula hoop. A few times a stuffed bunny. As I got older, it would be a TeenyBopper magazine or fancy hair clips. And then there was that green grass basket stuffing. You know the kind. It generally ended up all over the floor, in the dogs mouth, or clogging up the vacuum cleaner.
Then, we’d get dressed up in our best pastels and head off to church. I loved looking around at all of the fancy hats ladies wore on this holiday. After church, it was off to Grandma’s for a ham dinner, and more candy!
My Easters were always the same. Every year until I finally moved away from home. Even after settling into my first apartment, my mother brought me an Easter basket. I kinda miss that.
As I look back on those days with much nostalgia, I began to wonder how Easter is celebrated around the world. I discovered that in many places, Easter celebrations are decidedly different than those of my youth.
The Polish men of the household are sure to steer clear of bread baking on Easter. It is believed that if they assist in the preparation of the traditional Easter bread, their mustaches will turn gray. Also a part of the Polish Easter celebration is something called “Smingus-Dyngus”, which takes place on Easter Monday. “Smingus-Dyngus” involves people pouring water on each other. I’m not sure what the significance of this tradition is, but it sounds like fun!
In Haux, France, a gigantic omelet is prepared on Easter Monday. More than 4,500 eggs must be cracked to feed up to 1000 people. The omelet is prepared in the town square.
In some parts of Finland, bonfires are burned on Easter. This is apparently to ward off Witches that may be up to mischief between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
How about this for a wacky tradition…
According to Read This:
The Hocktide festival in Hungerford on the second Tuesday after Easter kicks off with the town’s newly elected police constable blowing his horn and calling all men to the Hocktide Court in the town hall.
There, two Tutti-men are elected, who then carry a tall pole with an orange on top and a bunch of spring flowers (a tutti) tied to it with ribbons. They are led through the town by the Orangeman and give women oranges in return for kisses with women in the street.
Germans celebrate Easter by burning their Christmas trees in an “Easter Fire”. This signals the end of winter and the coming of Spring.
The Swiss have revived an old Easter tradition by decorating wells to celebrate the gift of water. The wells are decorated with painted eggs that have been blown out and spring flowers.
The Greek dye Easter eggs all one color. Red. This is said to represent the Blood of Christ. The eggs are then used in making Easter bread.
For Australian children, there is no Easter Bunny to greet them with goodies on Easter morning. Instead, the Bilby – a member of a marsupial omnivore family – is the character the children believe provides vibrant Easter eggs.
In Belgium and also in parts of France, children believe that Church bells leave their city on the Saturday before Easter, and travel all the way to the Pope in Rome to collect Easter eggs. This day is referred to as “Silent Saturday” when no church bells ring, signalling to the kids that the church bells really have departed for Rome.
According to Associated Content:
Ethiopian Easter festival – also known as Fassika – is a special holiday celebrated by a noble feast featuring a large loaf of sourdough bread called “Dabo”. Generosity plays a fundamental role of the Easter holiday in Ethiopia. Visitors are greeted with a slice of “Dabo” as a means of honoring the crucifixion of Christ.
Additionally, the Ethiopians wear whiteexemplifying purity and display headbands created from palm leaves symbolizing the actual palm leaves during Jesus’ passage before crucifixion.