Put All Your Colorful Eggs in a Basket — Easter Around the World
Most of the northern hemisphere is starting to warm up. Flowers are bursting from every little corner of the ground. It’s like the world is smiling. That is when Easter comes along with pastel shades of bunny and eggs, human size carrots in front of doors, and the cutest baskets one can imagine at stores. This is not all that Easter looks like. 95 countries celebrate Easter, or observe the Holy Week.
Spain — Semana Santa
It’s called Semana Santa (Holy Week). Different celebrations are held across the country. Religious and military parades accompanied by music are organized in Málaga. The celebrations in Andalusia are the most grand. There are religious processions by penitents dressed in long robes and tall, pointed hoods (symbol of religious penitence). Read more. Egg huntsSpaniards enjoy Flores Fritas, (fried flowers) among other sumptuous dishes during the Holy Week. These cookies are found across bakeries in Spain and are made by hand. More dishes Spain enjoys during Easter.
Italy — Pasqua Italy is a very religious country, with its proximity to the Vatican. They celebrate Pasqua Their Holy week is quite similar to Spain’s. Olive branches are frequently used along with palm fronds to decorate churches. While each region has its own unique way of observing the religious celebration, Sicily takes the cake in the most elaborate Italian Easter. In San Biagio Platani, locals bake ‘archi di pasqua’, the bread arches of Easter. The locals recreate the cathedral with gigantic and elaborate archways, domes, bell towers, and other structures made of natural elements like breads, willow, fennel, asparagus, bay leaf, cereals, river reeds, rosemary, dates. At the Vatican City, the church hosts an Easter Mass, led by the Pope. Pannetone sweet bread and Colomba (dove-shaped) bread are often given as gifts, as are hollow chocolate eggs that usually come with a surprise inside. Poland — Śmigus-dyngus (Easter Monday) In Poland, Easter Monday is a country-wide water fight. Buckets of water, baloons filled with water and even pistols with water are used to join the party. Traditionally, boys throw water on girls, but that is no longer the case today. The tradition dates back as a fertility celebration. It is said that if you don’t wake up early on Śmigus-dyngus, you will be awoken by having water poured on you. Today, everyone is fair game, so do not forget to pack a raincoat and a change of clothes if you are anywhere near a Polish community on Easter Monday. While a polish Eater feast is loaded with poppy seed cakes and sausage and other tasty dishes, each feast includes eggs. The egg symbolizes new life and Christ’s resurrection. Read more.
Norway — Påskekrim Before we cross over to other continents, Norway has a distinctive way of participating in the Easter festival. Norwegians enjoy reading crime novels at this time of the year as their mouths are busy munching on chocolate easter bunnies.
Americas — Semana Santa Latin American countries are extremely religious. They celebrate the Holy Week with all the fervor the can muster. Processions, masses and feasts — everything is on a larger than life scale.
Guatemala Guatemala has the largest Easter celebrations in the world. And Antigua is where it all goes down. With a combination of commemorations of the Passion, the Crucifix and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, they spend the week focus on church. Antiqua’s main streets and squares are decorated with colored sand, fruit, flowers, and pine needles. The procession walks over the decorations. The festivities end with a show of fireworks.
Paraguay While each Latin American country has a host of interesting mini traditions around the Holy Week, Paraguay has the most fun one. Starting Holy Thursday, and Good Friday, parents are forbidden from punishing or scolding little children. Come Easter Sunday, as the family gathers together, the parents take the kids over their knees, and spank them gently for the mischief accrued over the week. You can read more fun traditions in Latin America, around Easter here. To read more about foods around Easter, check this out. You are welcome to join in the Easter festivities whether you are a religious Christian or not. However, be mindful that for some, this is a very auspicious week. Be sure to respect this special week for them. Having said that- where is my chocolate easter bunny?
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