How people celebrate Easter all over the world
Easter is not only about eggs and bunnies. From kites in the sky to a giant omelet, this holiday has many associations because Christians worldwide celebrate it in dozens of different ways. Also called Paskha or Resurrection Sunday, Easter is for commemorating the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after burial.
Most countries in Europe are Catholic or Protestant and celebrate Easter according to the Gregorian (aka regular) calendar, but some countries in Eastern Europe like Romania, Greece, Georgia, and others, celebrate Easter 1-2 weeks later because the Orthodox churches follow the Julian Calendar.
What do people do for Easter in different countries? Unlike in places like the UK where Easter is associated with chocolate eggs, in Ukraine and Poland, families bless a basket of food at night and gather in the morning to eat a filling Easter Sunday breakfast. The most traditional food is called “paskha” or “babka”, sweet bread with raisins and a glaze on top of it. Also, people here use traditionally painted eggs in a form of competition where the winner is who cracks the other’s egg first.
In Germany, people decorate tree branches with painted eggs and wear colorful traditional dresses to celebrate the beginning of spring. In France, on Easter Monday, people from Bessières cook a giant omelet from thousands of eggs. According to the local legend, people have been doing this tradition since 1973 and, of course, it is connected with Napoleon.
The most Christian country in this region is the Philippines, and Easter is a big holiday there. Traditionally, men are following an image of Jesus in a procession, and the women follow Jesus’ mother wearing a black veil. Then men and women meet at the church, which symbolizes Jesus comforting Mary after he is resurrected.
A small percentage of people in India follow Christian traditions, and people there celebrate Easter as a “spring festival.” They would buy elaborately decorated eggs and present them to children.
For Australia and New Zealand Easter occurs during the fall as they’re in the Southern Hemisphere. “Aussies” and “Kiwis” usually eat hot cross buns during Easter. No rabbits are involved in this celebration but rather an endangered Australian animal called a “bilby”, that looks similar to a rabbit.
In Ethiopia, people fast for 55 days before Easter, and that’s a bigger deal than Easter itself. It’s called Fasika and this special diet restricts meat and animal products. On Easter Sunday morning dancing and music breaks out, people go to church services and celebrate at home, eating and having fun.
In South Africa, the day after Easter is called a “Family Day”, and it was officially recognized since the 1990s. It’s a holiday that gives families the chance to spend time together.
In Bermuda, people like to fly kites during Good Friday. Many years ago one Bermudian teacher wanted to show his students how Jesus ascended to heaven – he decorated a kite with Jesus’ face and let it fly into the sky.
In the USA, Easter is a big celebration with church services, egg hunts, egg decorations, and of course eating lots of sweets, not only for children.
Enjoy holidays wherever you are
The world is different and so are the celebrations. It is important to be aware of the traditions of the country you are traveling to or relocating to. You’d be surprised how different things are around the world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy and appreciate them. Especially when there’s a little help from the outside.
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