While we’re stocking up on chocolate eggs, chick-shaped marshmallows and hot-cross buns for this coming Easter weekend, you wouldn’t believe how other countries celebrate the holiday. Easter bunnies apparently aren’t a global affair! Here are some strange Easter traditions from around the world.
Whips and water fights
When it comes to Easter in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary it’s the ladies that need to watch their backs. On Easter Monday it’s tradition for the men and boys to throw water at the women and spank them with handmade whips make out of willow branches and decorated with colourful ribbons. The spanking is meant that the women will continue to be beautiful and healthy in the coming year.
Bonfires and witches
When Easter rolls around in Finland, children dress up in costumes and go begging in the streets with their faces covered in soot, carrying brooms and their hair tied up in scarves. In Western Finland they even make huge bonfires to ward off witches flying around between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Verges, a town in Spain, has a funny way of celebrating Easter. On the day before Good Friday, a ceremonial “death dance” is performed and the locals parade around the Old Town streets. Everyone dresses up in costumes and at the end of the parade, are scary skeletons carrying boxes of ashes. The dance begins at midnight and lasts well into the night.
Omelettes worth talking about
France has always been about food, Easter is no exception. Every year the people of Haux, a village near Bordeaux, use 4,500 eggs to make an enormous omelette, big enough to feed 1,000 people. It’s prepared over a fire in the biggest frying pan you’ve ever seen in the main square.
Christmas trees for Easter
In Germany Easter fires are made out of used Christmas trees from the past December. The fire is symbolic over the passing of winter and the coming of spring. Many German cities designate one place to bring your own trees and the city celebrates around a huge burning pile of tinsel-covered trees.
Bilby, not bunny
While we normally associate Easter with bunnies, they do things a little differently in Australia. Instead of rabbits, know as pesky animals that have a reputation for destroying land and crops, their local Bilby is the one bringing all the children chocolate eggs.
How do you celebrate Easter where you’re from? Where will you be celebrating Easter this year?