Five Easter traditions from around the world
As Easter Sunday fast approaches, experts have explored how countries across the world celebrate the annual holiday.
The language-learning experts at Busuu have shared five unique ways to celebrate this Easter inspired by various countries around the world.
Some may feel that Easter is synonymous with chocolate and Easter egg hunts, but this isn’t the case in every culture.
Many of these traditions are associated with Christianity. However, some are inspired by a Pagan past and even local folktales, meaning celebrations can vary massively from country to country.
A spokesperson for Busuu said: “Even though modern day Easter can be viewed as commercialised in both Western Europe and the US, it’s beautiful to see so many countries take part in traditions that have been around for hundreds of years.
“Unique traditions in the Greek islands, French cities and the isolated island of Bermuda offer a brilliant perspective on how other parts of the world celebrate Easter.”
Firework battles in Greece
Many Greek islands have their own ways of celebrating. Usually a traditional mass is held on Easter Sunday evening, with everyone going home to a hot bowl of lamb stomach soup.
On the island of Chios however, proceedings aren’t as peaceful. Every year a battle takes place between two churches – a tradition that dates back to 1889.
People carry fireworks to the roof of Saint Mark’s and Panagia Erithiani to set them off in the direction of one another. The winner is the first to hit the opposing church’s bell tower.
Egg-cellent cooking in France
Every Easter Monday the residents of Bessières gather to crack over 15,000 eggs into a huge pan to form the world's largest omelette.
The ‘Giant Omelette Brotherhood of Bessieres’ continues this tradition to this day, hundreds of years after Napoleon Bonaparte visited the area. He allegedly asked for a giant omelette to be prepared for his troops because he was such a big fan of eggs.
Swedish Easter witches
In a similar fashion to Halloween in the UK and US, in Sweden children dress up in old clothes to represent Easter witches and walk around their neighbourhood exchanging artwork for sweet treats.
This tradition dates back to an old folktale about witches who would fly to a German mountain the Thursday before Easter to cavort with Satan. When the witches were said to return, Swedes would light bonfires in an effort to scare the witches away.
Kite flying in Bermuda
Every Good Friday in Bermuda, people make handcrafted geometric kites to fly as part of the celebrations. According to local stories, the tradition started simply when a teacher had trouble explaining Jesus’s resurrection to their class and so used a kite to try and demonstrate this event.
Egg tapping in Bulgaria
Egg tapping is a game that first gained popularity in mediaeval Europe and is still played to this day.
The simplest version of the game involves tapping hard boiled eggs together. The winner is the last person to have an unbroken egg.
In Bulgaria, both adults and children join in the tradition. It is believed that the winner of the competition is set to have good health for the rest of the year. The eggs are often dyed before the tapping commences, the first of which must be dyed red. This egg will then be kept and preserved until the next year as a token of good luck and health.