Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus on the 3rd day after his crucifixion. It is commonly known as ‘Pascha’ or ‘Resurrection Sunday’ worldwide. The week before Easter is observed as the ‘Holy Week’ which celebrates the Last Supper, Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Easter is celebrated all around the world with a lot of pomp and grandeur. Diverse cultures and communities have varied ways of celebrating this festival. Here are top 10 traditions followed by people all around the globe on Easter.
On the morning of the Holy Saturday, the people of Corfu throw their pans, pots and earthenware filled with water onto the streets. The Corfiot believe that this marks the growth of new crops. People believe that this custom originates from Venetians who would throw out their old items symbolizing the birth of something new and fresh.
Ladies travelling to this country during Easter better be careful. The tradition includes gently whipping young girls with a branch of a willow tree decorated with colourful ribbons. This symbolizes beauty, fertility and vitality. In return, the girl presents the boys with a decorated Easter egg or a shot of whisky.
In the city of Haux, France a giant omelette made with 4,500 eggs is served in the town’s square. This gigantic omelette can serve upto 1,000 people. This tradition is said to have started when Napoleon was travelling with his army to the south of France where they were fed omelettes. He enjoyed it so much that he ordered the countrymen to gather all their eggs and make a massive omelette to feed his army. So, next time you’re in Haux around Easter, don’t forget to take along your forks and knives.
Don’t be afraid if you find little children dressed as witches flying around on their broomsticks during the Easter festivities. They wear old clothes, cover their faces with soot and wear scarves around their heads. They believe in a legend that says that witches fly around between Good Friday and Easter. To keep them at bay, they light a bonfire which also fights away the winter darkness.
Special editions of crime and mystery novels called ‘Paaskekrimmen’ are released during Easter in Norway. This tradition dates back to 1923 when a crime book advertised so extensively in the newspapers that people thought that a crime had taken place.
In the ancient town of Verges, the dance of death or the ‘dansa de la mort’ is performed onto the rustic streets which continues till the wee hours of the night. People dress up as skeletons, carrying boxes of ash in their hands, as it was enacted in The Passion.
‘Sprinkling’ is a famous tradition in this country where boys splash perfume or perfumed water on young women. They believe that water has cleaning, healing and fertile properties which is beneficial to the young maidens. The boys ask for a kiss in return.
The citizens of Pampanga are quite orthodox in their way of celebrating Easter. Some fanatics willingly get nails hammered into their palms and toes to mark the sufferings endured by Christ. This event pulls a massive crowd who encourage the volunteers.
Bermuda follows a tradition of flying kites with colour shapes and patterns on Easter. This followed by codfish cakes and hot cross buns. Legend says that a Bermudan teacher took to flying kites to symbolize the ascent of Jesus into heaven.
In the holy city of Jerusalem, the pilgrims carry a cross up the path that Jesus took on the day that he was crucified. They do this to mark the pain and the agony that the Son of God endured. They also attend the mass in the Garden Tomb, the place where Christ is said to have been buried.