Monday, 14 April 2014

Easter around the world

 Picture source: Flickr / willowgardeners

Easter, like most holidays, is associated with different traditions depending on your country. While it is principally a Christian religious holiday, it is also a festival to welcome the arrival of Spring, and so is celebrated all around the world. While you will might well have your own routines that you have been loyal to since childhood (eating your own body weight in chocolate springs to mind), if you’re an expat living in another country, why not embrace the local culture and celebrate like they do, or at least combine the traditions of your home and host country, to create a truly fusion Easter holiday.

In this blog post, we take a look at some of the Easter traditions from around the world that you could get involved in.
Picture source: Flickr / vintagehalloweencollector

Sweden: The witching hour

During the Easter weekend in Sweden, young girls dress up as witches, don old clothes and headscarves, and knock on the doors of their neighbours, exchanging drawings for sweets and treats. This tradition is said to have come from the belief that witches would fly from the German mountains to cavort with Satan on the Thursday before Easter. As such, many Swedes light bonfires and set of fireworks in an effort to scare them away. 

Picture source: Flickr / polunsky

Poland: Grab your ‘water’ pistol

There are several interesting ways that the Polish celebrate Easter. Other than the traditional painting of eggs, as well as the custom to carve butter into the shape of a lamb (this also happens in Russia by the way), they also like to have huge community water fights. This idea of ‘wet Monday’ came from the original tradition of spraying women with perfumed water, but has developed into the now customary street-wide water fights, including both men and women. 

Picture source: Wikimedia Commons / RuED

France: The sound of silence

Bells are one of the main symbols of Easter in France. On Good Friday and Easter Saturday, the church bells across the country are silenced, and children are often told that the bells are not ringing because they have flown to Rome to see the pope. Luckily, the bells manage to get back in time to ring on Easter Sunday.

Picture source: The Palm Beach Post / Gary Coronado

Peru: Little Donkey, Little Donkey

As is the case in a lot of South American countries, on Palm Sunday a large statue of Jesus on a donkey is carried through the streets before being taken into the church for the Palm Sunday service.

 Picture source: Flickr / gmaerten

Germany: Out with the old

In Germany, Easter is about saying goodbye to the old. As such, Germans like to celebrate the arrival of a new season by burning the remnants of their Christmas trees, as symbols of the winter season.

If you’ve made the move abroad, we want to hear from you! The 2014 Expat Explorer survey is now open! Take 15 minutes to help fellow expats by letting us know your views on life abroad and spread the word to expat family and friends by sharing the link here and using the hashtag #EESurvey14.

1 comment:

  1. Good sampling of the variety available. I would like to add Greece to the list. Here is an article that was just published yesterday:


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