Easter around the world.

Map of stabilityBy Richard Teahon

Easter is a Christian festival to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Many countries around the world celebrate Easter, and every country has its own ways of doing it.  To find out more about Easter, and how it began, click here.

In Great Britain, American, Australia, Canada, and countries where English is the most common language spoken, Easter is celebrated by giving Easter eggs to friends and family, decorating eggs, rolling eggs down hills, and being visited by the Easter bunny.

America has another tradition of Egg knocking.  People play the game in pairs, and each pair knocks the tips of their eggs together.  The tip that breaks off first loses, and the loser has to give that egg to the winner.  This is played with lots of people, until two people, or one pair is left.  Imagine how many eggs one person could win!

In Bermuda, kites are flown!  Everyone in Bermuda even if they are as old as your Dad or Granny makes kites and flies them at Easter.  This represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, church bells are silent until Easter Morning, when easter eggs appear.  The bells are silent as they are “flying to Rome”, which represents Jesus Christ’s execution at the hands of the Roman Empire.  They return on Easter day bring Easter eggs, which represents his resurrection.

Also in the Netherlands and Northern Germany, Easter fires are lit on Easter Day.

In Norway, as well as decorating eggs, many people stay in mountain cabins and go cross country skiing.   They also celebrate Easter by watching detective television programmes, and magazines print detective stories where the reader can guess who the murderer was.  Milk cartons show a new detective story every year.  A detective story is a story that is about the police investigating a crime.  Every Easter, all the shops close for five days, except shops that sell food which open for one day.

In Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, many children dress as witches and knock on neighbours houses collecting chocolate.  This is not for free however, as the children have to give decorated pussy willows.  This tradition is a mixture of two traditions.  Children also decorate eggs.

Food is a big part of Easter in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, as normally a Smorgasbord, which is a meal which is made of lots of food is served.  This is often made from herrings, salmon, potatoes and egg.  Would you like a Smorgasbord?

In the Ukraine, Belarus, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Slovenia and Slovakia also decorate eggs for Easter.  A few Eastern European countries also have other traditions too.  Such as:

Being smacked!  With a whip!  In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the men often smack the women with a whip or pour cold water over them.  They do not hurt the woman, but instead it makes her laugh.  This is said to keep the woman looking beautiful and healthy.

Sometimes, the man does it to show he likes the woman, and in return the woman gives the man a chocolate egg.   In some parts of Slovakia, a woman can get her own back by pouring a bucket of cold water on any man she man wants to.

In Croatia and Slovenia, a basket of food is brought to the church to be blessed.

In Hungary, Transylvania, Slovakia, Kárpátalja, and Northern Serbia – Vojvodina, perfumed water is sprinkled in exchange for chocolate eggs the day after Easter.

How do you celebrate Easter?

Creative Commons License photo credit: futureatlas.com

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