How the World celebrates the EASTER
How the World celebrates the EASTER
Countries all over the world celebrate the holiday differently. Italy holds reenactments of the Easter story held in the public squares. Cyprus holds bonfires in the yards of schools and churches. In Germany, eggs are set in trees, called Easter egg trees, similar to the Christmas tree. Let us look into few traditions that are associated with Easter across the world.
“Sprinkling” is a popular Hungarian Easter Monday tradition, in which boys playfully sprinkle perfume, cologne or water over a young woman’s head, and ask for a kiss. People used to believe that water had a cleaning, healing and fertility-inducing effect.
In the town of Haux, a giant omelet made with 4,500 eggs that feeds 1,000 people is served up in the town’s main square. The story goes, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they stopped in a small town and ate omelets. Napoleon liked his so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelet for his army the next day.
Besides being crazy football fans, there’s a crazy tradition of creating straw dolls to represent Judas (the apostle known for betraying Christ) and hanging them in the streets and beating them up. And many times politicians involved in scandals become Judas.
But, it’s not all aggression, and on Easter Saturday, called ‘Sábado de Aleluia,’ inspires mini versions of Carnaval in many small towns to celebrate the end of Lent.
One of the biggest Easter celebrations takes place in Seville, where 52 different religious brotherhoods parade through the streets manifesting the crucifixion, with thousands watching the daily processions of marching bands and decorated candle lit floats heaving with Baroque statues illustrating the Easter story.
On Holy Thursday in the Medieval town of Verges, Spain, the traditional “dansa de la mort” or “death dance” is performed. To reenact scenes from the Passion, everyone dresses in skeleton costumes and parades through the streets. The procession ends with frightening skeletons carrying boxes of ashes. The macabre dance begins at midnight and continues for three hours into the early morning.
Easter in Sweden sounds a lot like Halloween to me, with the children dressing up as Easter witches wearing long skirts, colourful headscarves and painted red cheeks, and go from home to home in their neighborhoods trading paintings and drawings in the hope of receiving sweets.
The traditional of “Pot Throwing” takes place on the morning of Holy Saturday. People throw pots, pans and other earthenware out of their windows, smashing them on the street.
Some say the custom of throwing of pots welcomes spring, symbolizing the new crops that will be gathered in new pots. Others say it derives from the Venetians, who on New Year’s Day used to throw out all of their old items.
There are around seven million Catholics in Indonesia, Christianity was brought here by Portuguese missionaries, and statues from this time are carried through the streets.Young men consider it an honour to be chosen to play Jesus and be tied to the cross in various locations.
On Easter Monday there’s a tradition in which men spank women with handmade whips made of willow and decorated with ribbons. According to legend, the willow is the first tree to bloom in the spring, so the branches are supposed to transfer the tree’s vitality and fertility to the women. This is meant to be playful spanking all in good fun and not to cause pain.
A huge, decorated wagon is dragged through the streets by white oxen until it reaches the cathedral, and when Gloria is sung inside the cathedral Archbishop sends a dove-shaped rocket into the cart, igniting a large fireworks display. Called Scoppio del Carro (explosion of the cart), this is followed by a parade in medieval costumes.
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. Some say the custom derives from the Venetians, who on New Year’s Day used to row out all of their old items. Others believe the throwing of the pots welcomes spring, symbolizing the new crops that will be gathered in the new pots.
On Good Friday, the locals celebrate by flying homemade kites, eating codfish cakes and hot cross buns. The tradition is said to have begun when a local teacher from the British Army had difficulty explaining Christ’s ascension to Heaven to his Sunday school class. He made a kite, traditionally shaped like a cross, to illustrate the Ascension.
Here people don’t hide their eggs — they have egg fights – and whoever comes out of the game with an unbroken egg is the winner and assumed to be the most successful member of the family in the coming year.
In another tradition, the oldest woman in the family rubs the faces of the children with the first red egg she has colored, symbolizing her wish that they have rosy cheeks, health and strength.
Whilst in many countries Easter eggs are hidden and children hunt for them, in Germany Easter eggs are displayed on trees and prominently in streets, with some of the trees having thousands of multi color eggs hanging on them.
In the United Kingdom, observers participate by rolling eggs downhill and in some areas by performing the Pace Egg play, a traditional local event.
A big part of Jamaican celebration is to eat a spiced bun that may contain raises with cheese.
In Australia, the Easter Bilby delivers eggs rather than the Easter Bunny, as bunnies are viewed as an agricultural pest.
Taking place in the city where it is believed Jesus was crucified, Christians celebrate Good Friday by walking the same path Jesus did on the day he was nailed to the cross. Taking note of his pain that fateful day, some of those who participate carry a cross with them in remembrance. On Easter Sunday, many pilgrims attend a church service at Garden Tomb—the area it is believed Jesus was buried.
For over 130 years, the White House has hosted the Easter Egg Roll on its South Lawn. The main activity involves rolling a colored 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.
On Good Friday the Pope commemorates the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) at the Colosseum: A huge cross with burning torches illuminates the sky as the 14 Stations of the Cross are described in several languages. Mass is celebrated on the evening of Holy Saturday, and on Easter Sunday, thousands of visitors congregate in St. Peter’s Square to await the Pope’s blessing from the church’s balcony, known as “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and to the World”).
Easter is such a popular time for Norwegians to read crime novels that publishers actually come out with special “Easter thrillers” known as Paaskekrimmen. The tradition is said to have started in 1923 when a book publisher promoted its new crime novel on the front pages of newspapers. The ads resembled news so much that people didn’t know it was a publicity stunt.
Children in this Scandinavian country dress up like witches and go begging for chocolate eggs in the streets with made-up faces and scarves around their heads, carrying bunches of willow twigs decorated with feathers. In some parts of Western Finland, people burn bonfires on Easter Sunday, a Nordic tradition stemming from the belief that the flames ward off witches who fly around on brooms between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.