Easter Traditions Around the World
In the United States, Easter is a mix between religious and secular festivities. Many families attend church services in the morning, and reunite afterward at home to enjoy a lavish feast. Children look forward to Easter egg hunts and visits from the Easter Bunny.
Women practicing black magic are thought to be very powerful during the Easter season. In the past, Swedes lit bonfires and shot firearms into the sky to ward off these "Easter hags." In more modern times, Swedish boys and girls dress up as witches and visit neighbors on either the Thursday or Saturday night before Easter. The children will leave small cards, hoping for a treat in return. Bonfires and fireworks are still popular.
Eggs and special breads are a part of Eastern Orthodox observation of Easter in this Balkan country. Before eating Easter lunch, celebrants will take turns tapping their decorated, hard-boilded eggs against the eggs of others. The person whose egg remains uncracked the longest is said to enjoy a year of good luck.
Polish Easter eggs are elaborately decorated using different techniques. "Pisanki" are eggs dyed using batik; "malowanki" are hand-painted; "drapanki" are solidly colored and have designs scratched into their surface; "wykeljanki" are decorated with pith and yarn; and, "nalepianki" are decorated with paper cutouts and straw.
Easter celebrants in the Argentinian town of Badalucco challenge each other to duels with eggs, called Scotezzo.
Like Swedish children, Finnish children also dress as witches during Easter. Boys and girls recite good luck poems to neighbors in exchange for treats. A traditional Finnish Easter food is mammi, a dark brown porridge made from sweetened rye malt.
Greeks celebrating Easter traditionally carry a red-dyed egg with them and greet other celebrants by knocking eggs together. They eat christopsomon
a round, flat loaf of bread decorated with red-dyed eggs.
Easter in Sydney is enjoyed with an agricultural show known as "the Royal Easter Show," which displays the countries' best produce, farm animals, parades, rides, fireworks, food and sideshows.
On Easter Saturday, the Irish used to hold "herring processions," which were mock funerals for the herrings, since everyone was so tired of eating herring during Lent!
Do you know of other Easter traditions that should be included? Please let us know!