When people say “Easter,” the first thing that comes to mind would probably be big and fluffy bunny costumes, Easter eggs, chocolate, and spending time with your family. While most of this is true, there are also a variety of other ways that countries and cities around the world celebrate this holiday, including different cultures, practices, or traditions,
1.) Water Fights in Poland
When you walk the streets in Poland on Easter Monday, also known as Śmigus-dyngus, be sure to wear raincoats or bring some umbrellas for your friends. You will likely encounter an array of water balloons, buckets of water, or water squirt guns. Poland’s annual tradition for Easter is to host a water fight! This seems to stem from early religious rituals dealing with fertility or sacrifices.
2.) Parades and Floats in Guatemala
In Antigua, Guatemala, the Easter Festival is one of the largest celebrations worldwide and lasts an entire week. During this time, communities celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus through marches and driving floats with sculptures. On Easter Sunday, there is a more joyous mood, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus with fireworks, and this also marks the end of the Lenten season.
3.) Crime Movies in Norway
The last activity that comes to our minds about Easter would be horror movies or crime comic books, but Easter in Norway is celebrated by watching movies or reading books about crimes, or påskekrims. This tradition is unique to Norwegians, and the reason is still unclear. But, during Easter time, you’ll definitely see more horror comics at a bookshop than chocolate bunnies at the grocery store.
4.) Fireworks in Greece
Most of Greece belongs to the Eastern Orthodox Church, meaning that Easter holidays are sacred and celebrated on a larger scale. However, there are still some major differences that belong to a Greek Easter holiday. For example, on the island of Spetses, during the transition from Easter Saturday to Sunday, fireworks are used by churches to hint at the night of resurrection. Following that, in the afternoon, an activity called the “Burning of Judas” takes place in the main square in Kounoupitsa.
5.) Hot Cross Buns in Bermuda
An Easter holiday in Bermuda includes decorating and flying colorful kites, making traditional foods of codfish cakes and hot cross buns, and going to see a sunrise on the water. Though they may appear as casual, these traditions are taken rather seriously by the community. In fact, there is a belief that if you don’t make the buns on Good Friday, then your house could potentially burn down!
6.) “Santa” in Spain
Spain celebrates Easter with the Holy Week, Semana Santa, which includes festivals and activities country-wide. But, the fanciest celebration would be in Andalusia, where there is a lot of color, parades, and religious events, which could include processions with people dressed in robes and pointed hoods.
This was merely an introduction to the thousands of shared or unique practices done by countries all over the world. Each region has a different way to celebrate this time of year, and their actions represent various beliefs as well. Regardless of how you spend your Easter holiday this year, make sure to spend time with family and friends, have a good time, and, most importantly, make some delicious food!