Easter Traditions Around the World

Toby Nelson, Reporter

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Not all countries celebrate Easter the same way.  Here are just a few examples of how Easter is celebrated around the world.

Australia: In 1991 Australia wanted to replace the Easter bunny with an Easter bilby or a rabbit eared bandicoot because Australians consider bunnies pests who destroyed crops and land. Easter in Australia starts on Good friday and ends on Easter Monday. Egg knocking is a very popular game in Australia. In Australia people eat Hot Cross Buns (A sort of pastry made with dried fruit  with a cross on top) on Good Friday.

France: Kids don’t get treats from the Easter bunny, instead they get their treats from the Easter bells. In France no bells can ring between Holy Thursday and Easter Vigil. People in France thought the bells in France grew wings and flew to Rome where they were blessed by the pope, the bells then returned to France with presents, candy, and chocolate for the kids.

India: People trade colorful lanterns, flowers, and chocolate as gifts. Easter celebrations date back to the pre-independence. Easter is celebrated with great fanfare and religious vigor. Gift exchange and church services and extravagant carnivals are part of the easter traditions in India. Easter in India starts with Lent and cultivates on Easter Sunday. They do not decorate eggs but they buy decorated easter eggs from stores and give them as presents to the children. Easter bunnies are sold in stores during the festival. People exchange gift items with each other as part of the festivities.

Italy: People gather for the annual Ruzzolone which is a competition that involves rolling huge wheels of Ruzzola cheese around the town. Easter Mass is held in every church.  The Monday after Easter Sunday is also a public holiday in Italy.

Poland: People make a “blessing basket” that includes colored eggs, sausage, bread, and other important food taken to church so it can be blessed. In the Polish culture, Lent is not over until the priest blesses the basket.

Costa Rica: In each town of Costa Rica, Catholic Churches organize traditional masses and parades and processions take place on Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and on Easter Sunday.

Mexico: Families get together and watch parades on Easter Sunday. Easter is one of the most widely celebrated and important religious holiday in Mexico which is celebrated for two weeks. It begins with Miércoles de Ceniza (Ash Wednesday) and continues through Cuaresma (Lent) the 40 day period until Semana Santa (Holy Week). Semana Santa (Holy Week) begins on Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday). Viernes Santo (Good Friday) celebrates Jesus’s crucifixion. Sábado de Gloria (Holy Saturday) celebrates the full day that Jesus was in the tomb. Domingo de Pascua (Easter Sunday) which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus.

Poland: Easter, called “Wet Monday,” is celebrated on a Monday and locals douse passerbys with buckets of water and spank them with willow branches. In Poland Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. Families visit representations of jesus’s tomb decorated in a spectacular fashion. They like to dye eggs.

America: Every year New Orleans hosts the annual Easter carnival called the Mardi Gras. American children like to play an Easter game called the Easter egg roll. The mascot for Easter in America is the Easter bunny. In America kids celebrate easter by doing egg hunts, and getting baskets full of treats and presents which are called Easter baskets. In America Easter, is a time where couples tend to be married and it is also a popular time for weddings being held around America.

This is how Easter is celebrated in other countries. Try spicing up they way you celebrate Easter and try some things from other countries.