Easter is great. The days are longer and lighter. Anything can feel possible (even moving up a level on busuu!). But did you know that Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian tradition? Christian’s speak of how Jesus Christ was brought back from the dead and rose to heaven on Easter Sunday.
But many Easter traditions have often been inspired by a Pagan past.
Whether you are Christian or not, Easter is a time of renewal, Spring, bunnies, chocolate, firework battles and record breaking omelettes. Yup, we’re gonna stand by those last two.
Firework Battles in Greece
Traditional Mass is held on Easter Sunday evening. Many Greek islands have their own idiosyncratic ways of celebrating. But mostly it sounds like a calm, peaceful time of reflection before heading home for a hot snack of lamb stomach soup. Yum.
Unless you live in Chios.
Then you’re in the middle of an epic battle rages every year between two churches. This tradition dates back to 1889, so we don’t see it stopping anytime soon.
People carry fireworks to the roof of Saint Mark’s and Panagia Erithiani to set them off in the direction of one another. Often the evening will see tens of thousands of fireworks fly through the air at heights of 80,000 feet leaving streaks of colour across the skies.
The winner? The ‘team’ to hit the opposing church’s bell tower.
Egg-cellent Cooking in France
That age-old saying is true, you have to break a few eggs if you want to make the world’s largest omelette.
Every Easter Monday the residents of Haux crack over 4500 eggs into a huge pan. The omelette can feed up to 1000 people.
But last year the brilliantly named ‘Giant Omelette Brotherhood of Bessieres’ from Haux might have a rival for their record. They made an omelette using over 15,000 eggs.
That’s enough food to feed a crowd of Biblical proportions… Joyeuses Pâques!
Egg Tapping: The Game that Took the World by Storm!
Forget Easter egg hunting. All the cool kids know that egg tapping is the game to play.
The aim? To knock eggs together until one cracks, the overall winner is the person who has broken the most eggs.
First founded in the medieval era, the game was a big part of 14th Century Zagreb’s Easter celebrations. It could next be found in North America, during the American Revolutionary War where eggs would be dyed a deep crimson colour to give them strength.
By the mid-20th century, it was an obsession in Baltimore with newspaper column inches dedicated to discussing technique, wins and rituals around the game.
And these days in Louisiana it’s a very serious sport with people breeding particular hens to create harder, stronger, faster eggs.
Egg Rolls in Washington D.C.
If you don’t want to break your eggs, you can always try and get an invite to the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll.
It’s been a tradition since the 19th century meaning Presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama have overseen proceedings.
Carter even added a three-ring circus and a menagerie to the event. Show off.
Held on the White House lawn, every Easter Monday sees children getting together to roll a hard-boiled egg down a hill with a large serving spoon.
Russian Sweet Treats
Food is also a huge part of Easter traditions. In Russia people bake kulich (sweet bread with raisins) and decorate eggs for one another.
Another delicacy is Pashka, a pyramid-shaped dessert made entirely of cheese. Oh yes, please! The dish can be decorated with religious symbols and the phrase Христос воскрес (Xristos Voskres) which means Christ is Risen.
To make your Easter feast even more international, you could pair these nibbles with a special Easter beer from Denmark – Påskeøl. And, of course, finish off with a Hot Cross Bun for dessert.