Chocolate eggs, church services and baskets overflowing with lollies are all common Easter traditions that we are accustomed to in the west. However, all around the world, there are many other ways in which Easter is celebrated.
Here, we’ve put together 8 Easter traditions from around the world.
In Russia, the big Easter meal is accompanied by a lamb-shaped knob of butter. The lamb is a religious symbol, as it is believed that Beelzebub can take on the form of all animals except the lamb.
Believe it or not, you won’t find one chocolate egg or bunny at a Columbian Easter feast; rather, they observe Easter by feasting on iguana, turtles and big rodents.
Every year on Easter Monday, the townspeople of the Southern French town of Haux crack more than 4500 eggs to make a giant omelette that feeds more than 1000 people. The origin of this tradition dates back to when Napoleon and his army were travelling through the South of France. They stopped here and ate omelettes. It’s believed that Napoleon enjoyed his so much that he ordered the people of the town to gather their eggs and make a giant omelette for his army.
In Finland, children dress up as witches and wander the streets carrying twigs decorated with feathers, asking for treats. Some people will also burn bonfires on Easter Sunday. This tradition is believed to have stemmed from the belief that fire wards off the witches who fly around on brooms between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
While Easter is known for its colourful eggs, in Greece, you’ll find only red eggs! This tradition stems from ancient times, where the egg was seen as a symbol for the renewal of life. The colour symbolises victory over death or the blood of Christ.
Over the Easter weekend, Norwegians can be found curled up, consuming the latest in all things crime – books, movies, tv-series. This tradition started in 1923 when a book publisher promoted its latest crime novel on the front pages of the newspapers. The ads looked so believable that people didn’t realise it was a publicity stunt and ‘Easter Thriller’ is now a recognised sub-genre known as Paaskekrimmen.
On Easter in Florence, locals celebrate the day with a 350-year old tradition known as ‘Scoppio del Carro’, which means ‘explosion of the cart’. An old cart is loaded with fireworks and pulled by white oxen to the front of the Duomo. From there, spectators watch the pyrotechnic show.
For over 130 years, the White House has hosted the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn. The main activity involves rolling a coloured boiled egg with a large wooden spoon, however, the event has become so popular that it now includes music acts, an egg hunt, sports and crafts.