In this part of the world Easter usually means a bank holiday filled with Easter egg hunts, eating excess amounts of chocolate and relaxing with friends and family.
While we’re savouring our Easter eggs, let’s take a look at 8 of the slightly unusual Easter traditions from around the world that you may not have heard of yet.
In Corfu around noon on Easter Saturday the strangest event takes place. As soon as church bells ring to mark the end of mass, locals hurl clay pots off their balconies cheered on by the gathered crowd to loudly celebrate that death has been beaten by the Resurrection.
On Good Friday in Bermuda, locals fly special Easter kites high into the sky to symbolize the Ascension. The tradition involves making your own colourful tissue-paper kites and some take weeks for the people to design and create.
The story goes that the tradition started from a teacher was try to explain Christ’s ascension to heaven and when the children had difficulty understanding the concept, he made a kite, traditionally shaped like a cross, to visually demonstrate the story.
The Påskekrim or ‘Easter Thrillers’ tradition in Norway, is to sit down with your family and read or watch murder mysteries together, so you can all try to figure out who the killer was together as a family. These ‘Easter-thrillers’ were started when a crime novel was advertised on the front page of a national newspaper fooling many into thinking it was a headline. The Novel quickly became the most popular Easter book in Norwegian history.
Nowadays TV stations have scheduled their channels to only show murder mysteries and even milk carton companies have special cartons made during the Easter period.
At Easter, the French town of Haux serves a giant omelette in the town square. Chefs use over 5000 eggs to prepare this ginormous omelette on Easter Monday.
This tradition has been an Easter event for over 30 years and is traced back to Napoleon, who ordered the locals to gather their eggs and a giant egg dish be prepared for his troops as they passed through the countryside.
The tradition of Osterbrunnen (Easter Fountains) in Southern Germany is the decoration of public wells and fountains with elaborate greenery and Easter egg décor. Depending on when Easter falls, these decorations are put up from late March until a couple of weeks after Easter. The most famous of these fountains is in Bieberbach, Bavaria. This fantastic fountain has won multiple Guinness World records for its decoration and the small village gets over 30,000 tourists around Easter.
On Easter Monday in Slovakia and some other neighbouring countries they celebrate the tradition of Wet Monday. This is when Slovakia’s men follow the ancient tradition of splashing the women with a bucket of cold water. The tradition is to is said to bless the soaked individual with fertility and strength. Afterwards, the women reward the men with Easter eggs, fruit and money.
In Poland no Easter dinner is complete without a ’Butter Lamb’ as a centerpiece. A lamb carved out of butter represents the start of Spring and is a traditional Easter Symbol. It is also the only animal Satan can’t take the form of so you can be certain its not the Devil in disguise!
In Washington DC, since 1878 the President has hosted the Easter egg roll on the south lawn of the White House. The tradition involves children rolling coloured hard boiled eggs with a serving spoon down the lawn. These days the even includes more activities such as musical groups, an egg hunt, sports and crafts.