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Easter traditions around the world

Belarus Ethiopia Ghana Nigeria Rwanda Egypt Kenya Uganda Tanzania Zambia Slovakia Germany Poland Greece Greece Italy Slovenia Croatia Bosnia Spain Norway Sweden Switzerland France Ireland United Kingdom United Kingdom China India Bulgaria Russia Czech Republic


On Easter Monday, chefs in the city of Haux, located in southwestern France, gather at the town's main square to build a fire and cook an omelet big enough to satisfy the hunger of a whole town— This omelette is lunch for up to 1,000 people


On Holy Thursday in the Medieval town of Verges, Spain, the traditional "dansa de la mort" or "death dance" is performed. Scenes from The Passion are reenacted and people dressed in skeleton costumes parade through the streets. The procession ends with frightening skeletons carrying boxes of ashes. The macabre dance begins at midnight and continues into wee hours of early morning. Spaniards eat a lot of sweets during easter and every region has it's own specialties; Bartolillos from Madrid, rosquillas de Semana Santa (Easter doughnuts), leche frita (fried dessert with milk and eggs), pestiños (pastries with sesame and honey) and buñuelos (fried pastries) are some typical delicacies


In Florence, Italy, the beautiful custom of the Scoppio del carro takes place on Easter. In this a holy fire lit from stone shards of Holy Sepulchre and it is used to light a fire during the singing of the Gloria of the Easter Sunday mass, this fire is then used to ignite a rockets and firecrackers in the form of a dove, representing peace and the holy spirit. This in turn lights a cart containing pyrotechnics in the small square before the Cathedral. A typical Tuscan easter lunch comprises of Italian delacacies made with Lamb, artichokes and eggs.

United Kingdom

The UK has a long standing tradition of rolling decorated easter eggs down grassy slopes or hills. This tradition dates back hundreds of years and is called as "pace-egging". In Scotland the Easter Sunday Lunch or Dinner is a very special meal. Traditionally roast lamb is served, although some families still opt for Roast Turkey.

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In Germany decorated eggs are hung on branches trees to transform them into Easter egg trees. On Easter Sunday, many families in Germany commence their Easter celebration by attending a church followed by a family breakfast or brunch. The easter menu is often eggs, including some of the hard-boiled, painted Easter eggs, fruits and vegetables, bread rolls (Brötchen), fresh homemade cakes, various flavors of jam, cheese, and of course wurst.


In the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland easeter is a day of remembrance for the martyrs of Easter Rising which began on Easter Monday 1916. Irish catholics traditionally eat leek soup and roast lamb.


In Bulgaria, Easter eggs are decorated on Thursday or saturday that comes before Easter. There is also a popular tradition to fight with eggs by pair and the egg that stands till the end is called borak (Bulgarian: борак, fighter). There is also a tradition to display the decorated eggs on the Easter dinner table, The dinner consists of roasted lamb, a special Easter salad made with lettuce & cucumbers and a sweet bread called kozunak

Czech Republic & Slovakia

Decoration of Easter eggs is a famous and recognizable Czech tradition. Easter Eggs are decorated and sold in Czech cities by artists from Moravia and Slovakia. Traditionally decoration of eggs is done by girls, as boys are mostly busy making whips and playing with rattles. Their traditional treat that is very popular is chocolate or sugar covered cake in the shape of a lamb. For Easter Monday every meal has to have eggs as they are considered as ancient symbol of new life and rebirth. In Slovakia Easter preparations begin days before Easter. To get ready for the grand easter feast, people bake pastries, cookies. Easter dinner menu is always grand: potato salad with mayonnaise, cooked ham, cold cuts, and sandwiches are served on Easter Sunday as well as on Easter Monday and of course one must not forget special Easter Cookies and pastries.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

A basket of food is prepared by families, covered with a handmade cloth, and brought to the church to get it blessed. A usual Easter basket in Bosnia & Herzegovina includes bread, colored eggs, ham, horseradish, and a typical called "potica"

Poland & Russia

The butter lamb (Baranek wielkanocny) is a traditional addition to the Easter Meal for many Polish Catholics. Butter is shaped into a lamb either by hand or in a lamb-shaped mould to make the traditional butter lambs.


Easter in Slovenia has many colourful traditions and customs originating centuries into the past. It is an important feast for the people of Slovenia. The easter feast brings end to a long fast, which commenced on Ash Wednesday. The easter menu consists of the essential ham, bread, horseradish and a special Slovenian cake called potica, these are accompanied by colourful decorated eggs, in Slovenia called pirhi, pisanice, pisanke, remenice or remenke.


In Norway a contemporary Easter tradition is to watch murder mysteries on television. All the major television channels run crime and detective stories. The Easter cuisine in Norway consists of mainly 2 things - lambs and oranges, lamb is obvious because Jesus is called as the lamb of god but oranges? The love for oranges is believed to have originated in the fact that in the past oranges were available in Norway only during winters after being harvested in southern Europe and the juiciest oranges came right in time for Easter. This quickly became symbolic for sunny days that were waiting ahead.


In Sweden, Easter is celebrated with a menu of eggs, herring, and Jansson's Temptation (potato, onion and pickled sardines baked in cream). A very interesting easter tradition from Sweden (and Finland) is that in the last days of lent, children dress up as Easter witches, and go door to door to collect sweets.


In Croatia a traditional easter game (called as kockanje or tucanje) is played. In this game two people choose eggs and hold them vertically; one of the two lightly taps the end of the other egg with his egg to see which egg will crack. The person whose egg cracks must choose another one and then tap the other person's egg, and this goes on till all the eggs have been used and cracked except one. The owner of the strongest egg, wins. A special fruit-studded yeast-raised Easter bread that borders on being a cake called pinca or sirnica is the highlight of the traditional Easter meal.

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In Greece, people color the Easter eggs red (as a symbol for Jesus' blood). These eggs are then used in making special Easter bread.


The Frankonian Swiss population has an old Easter tradition of decorating wells in order to celebrate the water as the source of life. The wells are decorated with beautifully painted eggs and spring flowers


In Egypt, on Palm Sunday, the church is decorated with palmss and flowers, and children are given palm branches blessed with holy water. During the period of Holy Week, people visit church everyday. There is church service leading up to the primary Easter service on Saturday night, which is upto 3 a.m. on Easter morning. Bells are sounded to inform people of Christ's resurrection, and a procession is held with the newly lit candles.


Did you know that the Ethiopians have an Easter festival is called Fassika and is celebrated with Orthodox Easter celebrations around the world which holds a few weeks after the conventional Easter date or not depending on their calendar? This festival celebrates the day when Jesus Christ rose from the dead after being crucified. On Easter Eve, Ethiopian Christians participate in an hours-long church service that ends around 3 a.m. after an announcement is made that Christ has risen then the celebration starts a spicy chicken stew, which is the most traditional food served in all households.


Majority of population in China doesn't observe Easter or believe in the resurrection, but a few million of Chinese have taken up Western customs for children such as Easter egg hunts just for the fun or novelty. Though how people celebrate Easter varies widely. Some of the established churches with buildings treat it like a mini Chinese New Year complete with red paper slogans called chūnlián (春联) on the church buildings with special bands or music, and special decorations.


India has a minority catholic population, on shrove Tuesday, simnel cakes and pancake cakes are prepared. Christians go for church services to admit their sins and ask for forgiveness. Easter celebrations in India originated during British Raj and the traditions continued much during the Portuguese and French possession.


Easter in Ghana will not be complete without the kwakhu festival, all roads usually leads to the eastern region for the Easter festivities and the celebration witnesses thousands of Kwahus, friends and foreign tourists flocking to the area. The celebration begins on Holy Thursday and ends on Easter Monday with events like Christian crusades, visits to shrines and ancestral caves on top of the mountains, fundraising activities and paragliding which means flying under a big rectangular umbrella propelled by the wind and using numerous ropes to direct the flight.


Easter is that time of the year when Nigerians capitalize on the public holidays and attend the truckload of comedy shows. Gifts might not troop in, but Comedy shows and events are a must! The long list of concerts and the much awaited Easter Fiesta is something Nigerians do not take for granted and for those reasons, Easter is always bubbling.


Easter in Belarus is a big festival and they have a lot of vivid celebrations though somethings that stands out such as singing folk songs called Valachbny (in the central and north-west regions). In some areas women sing separately for men and men sing separately for women. This tradition has pagan roots and is associated to folk singers travelling from town to town reciting these songs for the people.


Easter is famous in Kenya as the time of the year that is feast marked by singing, bell-ringing, church services, and family togetherness. If you are familiar with African you will note that certain behaviours are too westernized and one of them is the exchange of gifts during Easter, A Kenyan home is rather spending quality time bonding over home cooked meals.


Easter in Tanzania is rather unconventional, there are different traditions, Easter Monday is where the fun is for most people and that is why it is also referred to as Bright Monday, Renewal Monday, Wet Monday or Dingus day where certain people pour buckets of water on their spouse or friends (wet day) or large gathering and a polka festival (Dingus Day).


Rwandans are famous for decorating their churches with 'Vitenge' and 'Kanga' during Easter and not to forget the famous EGG HUNT. After the church service is ended, the celebration begins and eating and dancing is the next best thing in recognition of the rebirth.


In Zambia, it is also a celebration of the Lord and his Sacrifice for man, but an extensive event or a huge blown declaration is not in play. They are very religiously inclined and they emphasize the importance of acknowledging the reason for the season. Maybe not the best exchanger of gifts but the sentiment that requires spending this day with family is completely unanimous


Easter in Uganda is not as widely celebrated as Christmas but it is recognized as Easter cards are displayed at every stationery shop and grocery store across the country and Easter plays and concerts take place in churches there is the required going to church and spending quality time with the family but an extravagant event or an over the top celebration is no Easter Ugandan Style.