While the earliest recorded observance of an Easter celebration dates back to the second century, this Christian event is now recognised practically everywhere. Many countries have their own unique style, including these five Easter traditions from around the world.  

1. New Zealand and Australia 

Hot cross bun
Photo by dailybreadnz on Instagram

You know that Easter is at your door when hot cross buns begin to make an appearance in supermarkets and bakeries across New Zealand and Australia. Whether you like yours fresh or toasted, a good lick of butter is mandatory. Hot cross buns were created to mark the end of Lent as they contain dairy (that is not allowed during this time).  

2. Germany 

Ostereierbaum in Germany
Photo by stadtwandlerwurzen on Instagram

If you’re in Germany around the Easter period, a vibrant version awaits. Ostereierbaum is an annual tradition – for both children and adults alike – to paint eggs and hang them on a tree as whimsical decorations. Easter hunts involve finding an Easter nest, a decorated basket or box filled with goodies. And osterfeur, a special sunset bonfire on Holy Saturday which can be expanded to a festival with food and rides.  

3. Brazil 

The end of Lent signals a time for togetherness and celebration for Brazilians during Easter. On Good Friday, friends and families gather for a delicious meal of fish. On Holy Saturday, a doll is hung on a pole for people to hit, symbolising the burning of Judas. And on Easter Sunday, there is a special Mass and the giving of chocolate eggs, filled with extra treats or hollow.  

4. Poland 

Photo by smallbatchbabka on Instagram

One of Poland’s Easter traditions is called smigus dyngus, or Wet Monday. Historically, it was a rather odd way of men showing affection towards a woman by dousing her in water; however, today it is just one, large water fight for everyone to partake in. If this isn’t your cup of tea, make sure you try a slice of traditional babka, a sweet, braided bread that is a traditional Polish Easter food. 

5. Luxembourg 

Photo by my_luxembourg on Instagram

Like Poland, Luxembourg men like to show their affection for women around Easter. Except this time, Luxembourgers have Bretzelsonndeg (Pretzel Sunday) on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Men offer a pretzel to their sweetheart, and if she accepts, they can visit her on Easter Sunday and receive an egg in return. In a leap year, the roles are reversed! This isn’t your normal pretzel, either; a Luxembourg pretzel is actually a sweet pastry decorated with icing and almonds.  

Where would you like to travel to, to experience a new Easter tradition? Join us on an Avalon Waterways river cruise, or a Globus or Cosmos tour.  

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