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How is Easter celebrated around the world?

We’ve made it through the dark days of winter and now we’re in the brighter days of spring, a special Christian festival is on its way.

Easter is a holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus three days after his crucifixion.

Despite having its roots in Christianity, the festival is celebrated all around the world by many different cultures.

And not all of them are going on Easter egg hunts…

Have a look at some of our favourite eggtraordinary Easter traditions from around the world!

Watch out for the water and willow branches!

On Easter Monday in Poland, boys go out looking for the girls they find the most attractive and when they find them, they soak them with water! They use buckets of water or water pistols and bottles to drench the girls they find the prettiest.

The tradition goes that if you’re the girl who gets soaked with the most water, you’ll be the one who gets married within a year.

The Polish name for the day is a bit of a mouthful – Śmigus-dyngus – and it’s also known as Wet Monday too!

And if you think that’s bad, the ladies need to watch out even more in the Czech Republic.

Apparently, men are supposed to playfully hit women with willow tree branches on Easter Monday!

The tradition is based on the fact that the willow tree is the first to bloom in spring, so the branches are used to spread the tree’s fertility to the women!

Easter crime

There might be some classic films that we’ll be watching here in the UK over the Easter bank holidays, but over in Norway, they have a particular genre that they can’t get enough of during the Easter break.

The Norwegians enjoy nothing more than settling down in front of a detective show or crime movie during the Easter period or reading an intriguing crime novel.

The tradition is known as Påskekrim, which literally translates into English as ‘Easter crime’!

At this time of year, bookshops will be filled with crime novels and the TV schedule is packed with detective TV series and films!

Rainbow roads

In Antigua, Guatemala, locals go all out to put on a magnificent display of colours for Easter!

They cover their cobbled roads with colourful flowers, vegetables and sawdust using intricate patterns that are created by local artists.

The cobbled streets can go on for up to 800 metres, so you can imagine how spectacular the scene is! The artists also create images of religious scenes as well.

A Good Friday procession takes place over the colourful cobbles before the art is swept away ready for next year!

Anyone for a giant omelette?!

If you thought you’d seen Easter egg traditions in action, wait until you’ve been to Bessières in the south of France.

They take things to the next level by serving up a giant omelette in the town square on Easter Monday… apparently it can feed up to 1000 people!

The tradition is said to be based on a story about Napoleon and his army travelling through the south of France.

They found the omelettes in the town of Bessières to be pretty tasty and the story goes that Napoleon demanded that the locals bring all their eggs together to make one huge omelette for his army!

It’s said that these days the giant omelette-making session involves over 15,000 eggs – wow!

Mind your head!

If you’re planning on spending your Easter break on the Greek island of Corfu, you might need to be careful if you’re wandering the picturesque streets.

At 11am on the morning of Easter Saturday, the locals throw clay pots from their balconies down on to the streets!

Sounds like a good stress release! But there’s a deeper meaning behind the tradition…

Many people believe that it symbolises the earthquake that came after Jesus was resurrected.

While some people believe that the ritual started back in the 16th century when people would throw their old stuff out of their windows ready for a fresh start in the new year!

And did you know that in Greece, you won’t find the usual Easter eggs that we see in a variety of different colours? Instead, they dye their eggs red!

The colour is supposed to symbolise the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.

Halloween at Easter?

If you’re spending Easter in Finland, you might be forgiven for thinking you’ve fast-forwarded to the end of October!

Finnish children celebrate Easter by dressing up as witches and going round people’s houses reciting a spell that’s supposed to wish their neighbours a healthy year ahead.

They then ask for a chocolate coin or chocolate Easter egg in return.

They often carry willow twigs as well that are decorated colourfully to drive away any evil spirits that might be lurking around!

Apparently, it’s believed that witches and other evil spirits would often be out causing mayhem on the streets just before Easter – interesting!

The new Easter bunny?

If you’re in Australia, you won’t find as many cute chocolate rabbits to eat as we have here in the UK.

Down in Oz, the rabbit is seen a crop-destroying pest! So, the Australians prefer to eat chocolate bilbies instead.

What’s a bilby? It’s a cute little rabbit-eared marsupial that’s native to Australia.

The species is under threat and by celebrating the creature’s cuteness over Easter, conservationists hope to raise awareness for the endangered animal!

So, there you have it! Some weird and wonderful Easter traditions from countries all around the world…

What do the traditional Easter celebrations look like where you live?

Have you heard of any other fascinating Easter traditions?

Let us know in the comments.

And we hope you have a great Easter break!

Sources:

https://www.thelocal.fr/20190419/why-one-french-town-is-buying-15000-eggs/

https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/content/worlds-craziest-easter-traditions/

https://www.readersdigest.ca/culture/easter-traditions-from-around-the-world/

https://www.womansday.com/life/travel-tips/g2175/easter-traditions/

Isabel Tawton

Isabel Tawton

I'm native English and studied German and Linguistics at the University of York. I also have a Masters in Translation from the University of Manchester. Before I came to Tongue Tied, I worked as a language assistant in Germany and in German-speaking customer service here in the UK. I'm very interested in languages and the German culture, and I really enjoy travelling!
Ich bin gebürtige Engländerin und habe Deutsch und Linguistik an der University of York studiert. Ich habeaucheinenMasterabschluss in Übersetzung von der University of Manchester. Bevor ichzu Tongue Tied kam, habeichals Sprachassistentin in Deutschland und als Kundenberaterineinerbritischen Firmafür den deutschsprachigen Marktgearbeitet. Ich interessieremichfür Sprachen und die deutsche Kulturund ichreisesehrgern!

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