April: not only does it mean an end to a long winter, but it also means that it’s nearly time for the Easter holidays! Different cultures have their own, unique Easter celebrations around the world. Some ways are: drenching one another with water, egg hunts, wearing masks, chocolate bunnies, turkey dinners, religious festivities, and so on.
In Washington DC there is a yearly egg roll at the White House. However this often features more than egg rolling, with a music stage, reading nook, and other fun events. The Easter Egg Roll will be live-streamed from the South Lawn of the White House so you can follow along at home.
Children in this Scandinavian country go begging in the streets with sooty faces and scarves around their heads, carrying broomsticks, coffeepots and bunches of willow twigs. In some parts of Western Finland, people burn bonfires on Easter Sunday, a Nordic tradition stemming from the belief that the flames ward off witches who fly around on brooms between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Taking place in the city where it is believed Jesus was crucified, Christians celebrate Good Friday by walking the same path Jesus did on the day he was nailed to the cross. Taking note of his pain that fateful day, some of those who participate carry a cross with them in remembrance. On Easter Sunday, many pilgrims attend a church service at Garden Tomb, the area that it is believed Jesus was buried.
On Holy Thursday in the Medieval town of Verges, Spain, the traditional “dansa de la mort” or “death dance” is performed. To re-enact scenes from The Passion, everyone dresses in skeleton costumes and parades through the streets. The procession ends with frightening skeletons carrying boxes of ashes. The macabre dance begins at midnight and continues for three hours into the early morning.
In Prizzi, Sicily, the Abballu de daivuli is a representation of devils from locals wearing terrifying masks of zinc and dressed in red robes, according to the Telegraph, those dressed in costume pester as many “souls” as they can (which really means making them pay for drinks) before the afternoon when the Virgin Mary and the risen Christ save the day by sending the devils away with angels.
Pouring water on one another is a Polish Easter tradition called Smingus-Dyngus. On Easter Monday, boys try to drench other people with buckets of water, squirt guns or anything they can get their hands on. Legend says girls who get soaked will marry within the year. The refreshing tradition has its origins in the baptism of Polish Prince Mieszko on Easter Monday in 966 AD.
In this southern French town on Easter Monday. Each year a giant omelet is served up in the town’s main square. And when we say giant, we mean giant: the omelet uses more than 4,500 eggs and feeds up to 1,000 people. The story goes, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they stopped in a small town and ate omelets. Napoleon liked his so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelet for his army the next day.