It’s not long until the 2019 Easter holiday weekend, so we have pulled together 10 Easter traditions from around the world for you to try! These traditions and recipes are perfect for you to try with your children at home, or at school, as a way of teaching cultural differences.
Easter starts on Good Friday and is the most important celebration in the Christian church year.
Easter Sunday is a Christian celebration known as the day of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. For Christians, giving eggs at Easter celebrates new life and symbolises Jesus’s resurrection after dying on the cross.
It’s traditional in Britain to tell stories about the Easter Bunny, give chocolate eggs and Easter cards, but there are other traditions to try too!
Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns are a favourite Easter treat consisting of a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top. The eating of hot cross buns marks the end of Lent because they are made with dairy products that are forbidden during this period.
Try this BBC Good Food recipe!
Easter egg hunts
Easter egg hunts are a fun and exciting way to celebrate Easter with your children. Hide eggs around the house or garden for them to find. As an alternative to chocolate, hide eggs filled with small toys or fun activities that will keep them busy over the Easter holidays.
Typically, lamb is the meat to be eaten during Easter. This tradition comes from the availability of the first lamb of the season, which historically came to market around the time of Easter.
Try this recipe for roast lamb!
Fun Activities for children!
If you’re living in London and need fun activity ideas for the children this Easter holiday, take a look at this Little Bird blog post about 30+ ways to have a cracking Easter with the kids.
2. France, Haux
In the town square of Haux, thousands of people gather on Easter Monday to celebrate Easter with a ginormous omelette. Dozens of cooks use over 5000 eggs, 50kg of onions and garlic, and 4kg of salt and pepper to make this omelette! Everyone at the event gets to join in and eat some for lunch. This tradition has been in France for over 30 years.
According to legend, Napoleon was travelling across southern France with his army when he first tasted an omelette prepared for him at an inn near Bessières. He enjoyed it so much that he had a giant one made for his troops the next day, and so began the tradition!
If you’re not keen on making a giant omelette, try this baked mini cheese & onion omelette by Lavender and Lovage instead!
3. Italy, Florence
In Italy, ‘The Explosion of the Cart’ is a tradition that started over 300 years ago. The cart (Brindellone), stands over 9 metres tall and is pulled by a pair of white oxen from Via Il Prato to Piazza Duomo to sit between the Cathedral and Baptistery.
At 11am, the Archbishop of Florence stands at the altar and lights a dove shaped rocket to symbolise the holy spirit. This rocket is fired into the cart, causing the fireworks on top to explode. This tradition is called Scoppio del Carro and is followed by a parade in medieval costumes.
4. Sweden and Finland
In Sweden and Finland on the Thursday before Easter, children go door to door trading paintings and drawings for chocolate eggs and sweets wearing colourful headscarves, red cheeks and carrying bunches of willow twigs decorated with feathers.
The tradition comes from a legend that the Swedish witches went to Blakulla before Easter to party with the Devil. To stop the witches from coming back, Swedish people burn big bonfires on Easter Sunday. This is also celebrated in Finland as a Nordic tradition.
Brazil is a heavily religious country with the majority of the population being Catholic. This means that Easter celebrations are more focused on the religious beliefs.
On Easter Saturday, Brazilians host Sabado de Aleluia, which is a mini carnival held in small towns as a celebration for the end of Lent. They give gifts of large chocolate eggs either hollow or filled with tasty sweets. These eggs fill the aisle ceilings in shops up to a month before Easter.
There are many Easter traditions in Bermuda including kite flying, local delicacies, religious ceremonies and more. On Good Friday, the sky is transformed into a mosaic of beautiful shapes, colours, and sounds as Bermudians fly kites. The tradition began when a local teacher from the British Army struggled to explain Christ’s ascension to Heaven, so he made a kite, traditionally shaped like a cross, to show the ascension.
Another tradition in Bermuda is eating codfish cakes and hot cross buns. Hot cross buns are favoured in Bermuda and are directly imported from the UK for the Easter holidays.
Have a go at making your own kite with the help of this blog by Hand Made Charlotte.
Easter is one of the most important holidays in Bulgaria and it starts on Palm Sunday, the holy week and leads up to the Great Day. Bright red eggs and Easter bread known as kozunak are the main traditions in Bulgaria for Easter.
The Bulgarian ‘Good Luck Crack’ is a unique tradition where people take turns tapping their eggs against the eggs of others, they are even known to throw the eggs at each other. The person who ends up with the last unbroken egg is believed to have a year of good luck.
In another tradition, the oldest woman in the family rubs the faces of children with the first red egg she has painted. This symbolises her wish for them to have health and strength.
If you would like to make your own chocolate Easter eggs rather than throw them, take a look at Charlottes Lively Kitchen’s blog.
8. Hungary and Poland
‘Sprinkling’ is a popular Hungarian Easter tradition that takes place on Easter Monday, which is also known as ‘Ducking Monday’. Boys playfully sprinkle perfume or perfumed water on girls’ heads and ask for a kiss. It is believed that water had a cleaning, healing and fertility-inducing effect.
In Poland, they celebrate ‘Wet Monday’ also known as Smigus-Dyngus which is the tradition that involves people throwing copious amounts of water at each other. The tradition goes back to when boys were allowed to drench girls in water and smack them with branches of pussy willow. This was meant as a way of showing their affection and usually resulted in marriage.
If you would rather stay dry this Easter holiday and eat chocolate instead, we have some wonderful Easter recipes to try!
9. Central and Eastern Europe
Easter eggs are taken to another level in Central and Eastern Europe. Hard-boiled eggs are painted with beautiful designs and left on tables as decorations. The eggs are a symbol of fertility and rebirth as were thought to be a part of Pagan Spring Festivals to symbolise the bright blossoming flowers.
Another tradition is hosting huge bonfires with family and friends. An old Pagan ritual believed to bring fertile fields and protection from illness to all that the light from the fire touches.
For some egg decorating ideas that you can try at home, have a look at Growing a Jeweled Rose’s blog.
10. America, Washington
In the United States, the president holds the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn on Easter Monday. The tradition is believed to date back to 1878 and involved children rolling coloured boiled eggs with a large spoon.
This year it will be the 141st annual Easter Egg Roll and the day will be filled with family activities.
If you’re stuck for fun activities to do with the children around Easter, Love and Marriage Blog have 27 activities for you to try!
Change up your Easter this year and try a new tradition, replace some of the chocolate eggs for toys or take your little ones out for a day full of new and different Easter activities.