Easter around the world is not only celebrated with Easter eggs. Many other traditions are also their around the world. Such examples are:-
- In Finland, children go begging in the streets with colored faces and scarves around their heads, carrying broomsticks, coffeepots, and bunches of willow twigs (stem of shrub). In Western parts of Finland, people burn bonfires on Easter Sunday, a Nordic tradition is believed that the flames ward off witches who fly around on brooms between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
- In Poland, pouring water on one another is a Polish Easter tradition called Smingus-Dyngus. On Easter Mondays, boys try to swamp water on other people. Legend says that girls who get soaked will get marry within the year. The tradition has its origin in the baptism of Polish Prince ‘Mieszko’ on Easter Monday in 966 AD.
- In France, every year a giant omelet is served up in the town’s main square. For that, more than 4,500 eggs are used to make an omelet that feeds up to 1,000 people. This tradition is going from the time when the Napoleon and his army were travelling through the South of France, they stopped in a small town and ate omelets. Napoleon liked his omelettes so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelette for his army the next day.
- In Greece, the traditional ‘pot throwing’ takes place on the Greek island of Corfu on the morning of Holy Saturday. People throw pots, pans, and other earthenware out of their window, smashing them on the street.
- In Norway, people read crime novels that publishers actually come out with special ‘Easter Thrillers’ known as Paaskekrimmen.
The tradition is started in 1923 when a book publisher promoted its new crime novel on the front pages of newspapers.
- In Italy, the Pope commemorates theViaCrucis (Way of the Cross) at the Colosseum on Good Friday. A huge cross with burning torches illuminates the sky as the 14 Stations of the Cross are described in several languages. Mass is celebrated on the evening of Holy Saturday, and on Easter Sunday, thousands of visitors congregate in St. Peter’s Square to await the Pope’s blessing from the church’s balcony, known as ‘Urbi et Orbi’ (‘To the City and to the World’).
- In Spain, the traditional ‘death dance’ is performed on Holy Thursday in the medieval town of Verges. To re-enact the scenes from the Passion, everyone dresses in skeleton costumes and parades throughout the streets. The procession ends with frightening skeletons carrying boxes of ashes. It begins at midnight and ends after 3 hours in the early morning.
Contributed by : Rosemary Arya