17 April 2014
How do you celebrate Easter? It’s the most important event in the Christian calendar, and one of the best loved and celebrated holidays. The UK, as well as many other countries, celebrate Easter with bunnies, chocolate egg hunts and family get-togethers. However, Easter weekend between Good Friday and Easter Monday is celebrated in very different ways around the world with a variety of festivities and traditions. Which is your favourite?
In Australia rabbits have a history of crop-destroying, which is one of the reasons why Australians are embracing their own native marsupial, the Bilby instead of the Easter Bunny. Children now look forward to getting their eggs from Easter Bilby, with his distinctive cute face and long ears.
For over 40 years Bessières, in southern France has followed a tradition of making a gigantic 15,000 egg omelette in their town square to celebrate Easter. A giant fire is stoked in preparation and over 50 volunteers help crack the eggs in preparation for the feast. Local chefs come together to cook omelette which is shared among the 10,000 strong spectators who gather to celebrate this eggstraveganza!
Greeks traditionally dye boiled eggs red – the colour is meant to symbolize blood of Jesus Christ and the hard shell the tomb of Christ. Traditionally on Easter Sunday, each family member takes an egg and cracks it open with another family member. In the island of Corfu, at 11 a.m on Holy Saturday residents toss water-filled clay pots from balconies. This tradition aims at welcoming spring and new crops.
In Finland children dress as Easter witches to collect candy door-to-door in exchange for decorated pussy willow bouquets to welcome spring and driving away evil spirits. It is also common for Finns to plant rye grass in pots on Easter as a symbol of spring and new life. In Sweden people traditionally feast on a smörgåsbord of herring, potatoes and eggs at family lunch. In some parts of Sweden, huge bonfires are lit during Holy Saturday.
In Poland traditionally it is just the women in the house who will prepare and bake the traditional Easter bread. It is believed that if the men of the house participate, then their moustache will turn grey and the dough won’t rise!
In Guatemala people created beautiful carpets of sawdust and flowers that are usually more than a kilometer long. The whole process takes several days leading up to Easter. On the day of the holiday, people walk over the carpets making their way to local churches where traditional masses are held.
Germany has a fabulous tradition of making Easter trees. Wherever you look during Easter, you will see coloured eggs and decorations hung on the branches of trees and bushes. Some spectacular examples includes tens of thousands of coloured eggs.
In Scotland people like to roll their brightly decorated eggs down a steep hill. Whoever gets their egg to travel the farthest without breaking wins the competition.
However you plan to spend your Easter break, if you decide to travel, don’t forget to get travel insurance that will protect you from any unexpected mishaps like lost baggage or travel delay.