Easter is a Christian holiday that is celebrated all around the world. The ways of celebrating mix Jewish, Christian, and pagan imageries. This is why Easter celebrations vary so much depending on the country. Here’s how seven different countries celebrate this holiday!
In the USA, Easter is celebrated both in religious ways (with churches holding services) and in secular ways, with egg hunts, parades (like the New York Bonnet Parade), and visits from the Easter Bunny. The most famous egg hunt is probably the one that’s been held by the White House every year since 1878.
In the UK, egg rolls contests are held, the most famous being the one at Preston. It’s a little like Halloween since children have to go door to door to get their eggs while being dresses as witches. There are also egg roll contests that consist in decorating hard-boiled eggs and to roll them on across the floor the quickest possible. The traditional Easter dish there isn’t lamb but ham as porks are believed to bring luck.
German children make hay nests the day before Easter and they give them to their parents who hide them in their garden. On Easter Sunday, bunnies ‘lay’ multicoloured eggs in the nests.
There is another tradition that consists in gathering your family around a bonfire.
Just like in Germany, it’s a bunny, more precisely Easter Bunny who brings eggs. However, lately, Australians have been trying to replace the bunny by the bilby. Bilbies are an endemic and endangered Australian species while bunnies are destroying the Australian nature. The goal is to raise awareness. Menu-wise, Australians eat Hot Cross Buns. These are little spiced brioches, with either raisins or chocolate chips and a sugar cross on top.
As a very Catholic country, Spain has some of the biggest Easter celebrations. The most impressive ones certainly take place in Seville, Andalusia. From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, processions including the members of 60 religious brotherhoods dressed in their traditional costumes walk through the city along with about 50,000 people. Pasos – carved wooden biblical figures including the Virgen de la Esperanza (Virgin of Hope) and Jesus del Gran Poder (Jesus with Great Power) – are carried by the processions.
Also, in Spain, the tradition is to eat the mona, a brioche that has eggs on top.
In Italy, the whole family gathers to share a generous lunch including a dove-shaped brioche called colomba as a dessert. Apart from that, celebrations vary according to the region. For instance, in Florence, a huge decorated tank – made in 1679 – is pulled through the city by two white bullocks to the Duomo cathedral. That’s when the tank ‘explodes’ that is to say that fireworks are made.
Easter celebrations in the Philippines are among the most extreme in the world. Daily life stops altogether from Palm Wednesday: TV stops and liturgical chants are the only things that remain broadcasted on the radio. But the most impressive part is that each biblical event is reenacted, including Christ’s crucifixion, during which male volunteers are crucified!
As you can see, Easter celebrations are different depending on the country.
How is Easter celebrated in your country?