With the sweet spring weather, family togetherness and of course chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, Easter is one of the most special times of the year. After going to church, my family always gets together to share a ham dinner, followed by an Easter egg hunt for the little ones. A pretty standard Easter Sunday for many Christians in America!
I always find it fascinating to see how other countries and cultures observe the holidays I celebrate, and I’d love to share my findings with you. Scroll down to see some unique Easter traditions around the world, and share your unique Easter traditions in the comments!
Sweden: Dressing Like Witches
In the days leading up to Easter, many children in this country wear scarves on their heads, carry broomsticks, paint their cheeks red and go door to door asking for treats in exchange for paintings and drawings. Sounds a lot like Halloween to me — my favorite holiday!
Spain: Death Dance
Speaking of Halloween, this Easter tradition errs on the spooky side. Originating in the Middle Ages throughout Europe, the “dansa de la mort” or “death dance” is still performed on the evening of Maundy Thursday in Verges, Spain. Dressed as skeletons and carrying scythes, ashes and clocks, this procession serves as a macabre reminder of the inevitability of death.
Guyana: Flying Kites
People of all religious and ethnic backgrounds fly homemade kites in this Caribbean country during the Easter season, which is said to symbolize Jesus ascending into heaven. Interestingly enough, kites are generally not flown there any other time of year!
Greece: Pot Throwing
In Corfu, Greece, people throw old pots and other earthenware out of their windows on Holy Saturday to welcome bountiful crops, which will be gathered in new pots. Sounds like a smashing time!
Israel: Good Friday Walk
In Jerusalem, many pilgrims walk the same path that Jesus did on the day he was crucified, while carrying a cross in remembrance of his suffering. And, on Easter Sunday a church service is held at Garden Tomb, the area where it is believed he was buried and resurrected.
Poland: Splashing Water
“Smingus-Dyngus” is a Polish tradition where boys try to drench as many people as they can with water on Easter Monday. It is believed to have its origins in the baptism of Polish Prince Mieszko on Easter Monday in 966 AD. Legends say that girls who get drenched on this day will be married within the year, so take note, single ladies!
Brazil: Straw Doll Beatings
This tradition sounds like a real stress reliever! Many people across the country hang straw dolls in the streets and beat them up or burn them. These dolls are to represent Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, but you’ll also see unpopular political figures as well.
Easter traditions may be quite different from each other all around the world, but the most important lesson I’ve learned is that one can find inspiration in the most unique ways during this holy time of year. How are you celebrating Easter? Do you have any unique Easter traditions you share with your loved ones? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
If you’re looking for inspiration to enjoy all year, be sure to check out the religious treasures and gifts offered at The Bradford Exchange Online. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Easter, filled with family, faith and love. Thanks for reading and please share this post!Unique Easter Traditions Around the World by Beth Simon