Bring out the chocolate bunnies and dyed eggs – because the world is celebrating Easter today!
The most popular Easter tradition is to get together with family and friends, hunt for some eggs and have a sumptuous meal to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Though the significance of Easter remains the same around the world, many cultures and countries have their unique ways to celebrate the holiday. Here are few ‘out-of-the-basket’ traditions:
In Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands
In some parts of these countries, huge Easter bonfires are built, usually on Good Friday night or the night before Easter Sunday. These fires were originally built to keep the cold away. But now, it is a way to bring the community together.
In Czech Republic and Slovakia
Young men in traditional costumes beat girls and women with decorated handmade willow whips. The whipping is not meant to be painful and is believed to make women healthier and prettier. The women are also doused with water or thrown into rivers – for fun, of course!
Flying home-made kites is a good way to spend Good Friday in Bermuda, especially at the Horseshoe Bay Beach. So, what’s the origin of this Easter tradition? “The legend says that a local teacher was trying to explain to his students during his Sunday school how Jesus elevated himself to Heaven by self power, i.e. about Christ’s Ascension. Since he could not convince the students, he launched a kite that looked like Jesus Christ to explain the matter.” (Source: www.bermuda-attractions.com)
It is believed that witches become more powerful during the festival of Easter and bonfires are lit to scare them off. Easter celebrations look like Halloween here, as children dress up as witches and wander the streets searching for treats.
In Germany and Austria
They get to decorate trees twice a year – for Christmas, of course and Easter too! Instead of the twinkling lights and ornaments, pastel Easter eggs are used during this time of the year. The decoration typically begins a week before Easter Sunday. ABC News website says that a German family in the town of Saalfeld have decorated their apple tree with as many as 10,000 hand-painted eggs.
How are you celebrating Easter this year? Tell us if you are lucky to be a part of any unusual Easter celebrations around the world.
For more offbeat Easter celebrations and traditions, check this out.