7 Easter traditions from around the world

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When many think of Easter traditions in the UK, our minds might turn to the thrill of an Easter egg hunt and the four-day sugar high from over-indulging in chocolate. 

But Easter traditions can take many forms – the holiday is celebrated in different ways all around the world.

And while many Easter traditions are associated with Christianity, some are inspired by a Pagan past.

Read on to discover seven unique ways to celebrate Easter across the globe.

Discover 7 Easter traditions from around the world

In Greece, Easter traditions mean 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 that 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 flying through the air at heights of 80,000 feet leaving streaks of colour across the skies.

The winning ‘team’ must hit the opposing church’s bell tower.

2. 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 in 2019, 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!

3. Egg tapping in Bulgaria

Forget Easter egg hunting. All the cool kids in Bulgaria know that egg tapping is the Easter tradition to follow.

The aim? To knock eggs together until one cracks. The person who has broken the most eggs wins.

First founded in the medieval era, the game was a big part of fourteenth-century Zagreb’s Easter celebrations.

Today, you’ll still find that people in Bulgaria, both adults and children, follow the tradition. They believe that the winner of the competition is set to have good health for the rest of the year. ​​

The eggs are often dyed before the tapping begins. The first is dyed red as a token of good luck and health, and is preserved until the next year. 

4. 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 nineteeth century – meaning presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Jimmy Carter, and from Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, have overseen proceedings.

Carter even added a three-ring circus and a menagerie to the event!

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.

5. Sweet treats in Russia

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.

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.

6. Easter witches in Sweden 

Imagine it’s Halloween in the UK or the US, and you’ll be picturing something close to what Easter traditions look like in Sweden.

Children dress up in old clothes to represent Easter witches, walking around their neighbourhoods exchanging artwork for sweet treats.

It’s a tradition dating back to an old folktale about witches who would fly to a German mountain to cavort with Satan on the Thursday before Easter. When the witches were said to return, Swedes would light bonfires in an effort to scare the witches away.

7. Kite flying in Bermuda

Last but not least, we have perhaps the most unique and unusual of all Easter traditions. Every Good Friday in Bermuda, people make handcrafted geometric kites to fly as part of the celebrations. 

According to local stories, the tradition started when a teacher had trouble explaining Jesus’s resurrection to their class and used a kite to try and demonstrate this event.

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Emma was a French Language Expert at Busuu. Originally from London, U.K, Emma moved to Brighton to study Anthropology and Languages (French and Spanish) and later spent time living on the French overseas department, La Réunion. In her spare time she loves travel and culture, crochet, cooking and singing!