5 Easter Traditions from Around the World
Easter is just around the corner and we’re sure you are getting those eggs ready and helping your children make Easter crafts and having a whole lot of fun! But did you know giving eggs and bunnies is not the only way to celebrate Easter? Easter is celebrated in different ways around the world. Learn about these 5 fascinating Easter traditions from around the world.
1. Finland, Sweden and Denmark
Children in these Nordic countries dress up as witches with scarves around their heads, sooty faces, broomsticks, willow twigs and coffeepots and exchange pussy willows for candies! There are also people in Western Finland and Scotland who burn bonfires. This is because they believe in a Nordic tradition that says the flames will ward off the witches who fly around on their brooms between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. In Finland, rye grass is planted in a pot as a symbol of life and spring. On Holy Saturday, families in Sweden and Denmark hold a buffet-style meal consisting of a variety of foods like herring, salmon, potatoes, eggs and much more.
There are two traditions that go on in Poland. One includes the dousing of people with cold water and the other is decorating a Blessing Basket. The former tradition is followed as it is thought to bring about good health. On the first Monday after Easter, a Polish Easter tradition called Smingus Dyngus is celebrated where boys splash girls with water or perfume and it is said that those who get soaked will marry within a year. This tradition may have origins in Paganism as pouring of water is a symbol of purification. The second tradition includes decorating the Blessing Basket with colored eggs, bread, cake, paper, salt, white colored sausages and then going to church to get the basket blessed. Hence, the name.
3. France, Netherlands and Belgium
In France, church bells ring every day of the year except for few days before Easter to remember the death of Jesus. On Easter Sunday, the bells start ringing again signifying that Jesus is alive again. According to legend, the bells have been to Rome to be blessed and when they come back, they scatter chocolate eggs in everyone’s gardens. Children wake up to find eggs in their rooms and in the nests they placed at night.