Easter is just around the corner and for most of us it is a holiday filled with fun and precious memories. It symbolizes the start of the warm season which most of us have been eagerly waiting for. The Easter celebration is a nice way to transition from winter to spring.
For many people in Europe and America Easter traditions are associated with colorful eggs, baskets full of candy, church services and Easter bunnies. To make the last days before the holiday even more exciting we have decided to take a look at how different countries celebrate Easter.
So let’s take a look at some of the most fun filled Easter celebrations around the world.
In Australia some kids know the Easter Bunny, but because of the destruction this animal has caused to the land, an initiative started in 1991 to replace the Easter Rabbit with a Bilby.
A bilby is an endangered species of rodent with soft ears and long nose, something between a rabbit and a mouse.
Another big event in the calendar around the holidays is the Sydney Easter Show where farming communities showcase livestock and crops and bring the atmosphere of rural life into the big city.
In France the church bells bring treats to the children not the Easter bunny. According to a legend the church bells remained silent during the Holy week which was quite unusual. That was because they got wings and flew to the Pope to receive blessings. When they returned they brought presents and chocolate for the kids and that is how the tradition started.
Yes, Easter is celebrated in India too, even though the Christians are only 2.5 % of the population.
The Easter festivities are elaborate especially in the Northeastern part of the country. There are carnivals with songs, dances and street teather. People exchange gifts such as flowers, chocolates and colorful lanterns.
In Poland the Easter Lent is not over until the family basket has been taken to the church to be blessed. Every family has a blessing basket full of bread, colored eggs, sausages and other important food.
However, the fun starts the day after Easter when young boys try to get girls wet with buckets of water and water guns.
There is a popular story that the girls who get wet will be brides the next year.
Our journey exploring the Easter traditions around the world would not be complete if we do not make a stop in Italy.
Pasqua or Easter in Italy is a time of big celebrations and centuries old traditions. One of the most famous ones is the scoppio del carro, which is an old cart loaded with fireworks which is placed in the center of the town (mainly done in Florence) and put on fire.
The show is loud colorful and fun. Another interesting tradition from the region is a competition in which people roll wheels of cheese around the village.
With this we conclude our Easter around the world trip. Learning about the traditions of other countries is great, but everything starts with appreciating, respecting and enjoying our own first.
What are the Easter traditions in your country? Do you participate in any region or town specific celebrations and rituals?
by Betty Stefanova