Seven strange Easter traditions around the world
Did you know how other nations celebrate Easter around the world? That French kids do not get chocolate from the Easter bunny, but from the church bells? And that Finnish people celebrate by watching the grass grow? Travelo.hu collected seven strange Easter traditions from around the world.
It’s not the Easter bunny who gives children chocolate in France, in the Netherlands, and in Belgium, but bells. The reason for that is on old custom: the bells do not toll in the churches before Easter to remember Christ’s death. Children are told that all the bells have gone to Rome to visit the Pope, and on their way back they bring some chocolate as a present.
In certain parts of Switzerland and Germany wells are decorated with colourful eggs, flowers, and paper ribbons, usually placed out on Good Friday, and taken off two weeks after Easter. The custom of Easter wells or Osterbrunnen originates from early 20th century Bavaria, and it soon spread to nearby regions. As Easter is a holiday of spring and renewal, wells, which give the water necessary for life, become decorated.
The well-decorating custom was really popular in the 1980s: countless tourists have visited the Heiligenstadt and Bieberbach wells, and the latter is even recorded in the Guinness World Records, because it was decorated with 11,000 hand-painted eggs in 2001.
Since the 18th century men, painted in black, dance on the streets on Easter Sunday in Bacup, a small city in East of England. The men are dressed in black and white, wear a red striped skirt, and have a garland around their neck with the national colours. The citizens remember the Moors (this is why their faces are painted black) who used to cast anchor there.
In Norway no one works for five days, and kids do not go to school. All the shops and offices are closed – except on Saturday. To pass time, everyone is reading crime novels, and all there is on TV are detective movies. Even the milk cartons are decorated with short crime stories, to have something to read while eating breakfast.
From year to year some “heavily religious” people in the Philippines want to relive, to re-experience the suffering that Christ had to endure, and decide to be crucified. The Roman Catholic Church is against this custom, but their request is not taken seriously. Thousands of people are watching this bizarre custom every year.
Finnish people are way calmer: they simply watch the grass grow. If the grass in the bowl starts growing, kids decorate it with colourful eggs and paper bunnies; this is how they celebrate fertility and spring.
Copy editor: bm