How do other countries celebrate Easter?
It is not just Easter egg hunts and chocolate bunnies. Easter is a very sacred religious holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Chris from the grave. Many counties have week-long celebrations, customs, parades, and special food.
Take a look at Easter Celebrations around the globe.
Holy Week in Spain is the annual tribute of the Passion of Jesus Christ celebrated by Catholic religious brotherhoods and fraternities that perform penance processions on the streets of almost every Spanish city and town during the last week of Lent, the week immediately before Easter.
According to The BBC Travel site, Holy Week, the Christian festival that commemorates the last week of Jesus’ life, is a solemn celebration, and once mass begins, a calm settles over the congregation. As the pope makes his way through the cathedral, lit solely by candlelight, St Peter’s no longer feels like a crowded tourist attraction. It becomes a place of worship.
On Palm Sunday, thousands of pilgrims come to St. Peter’s Square, waving palm and olive branches to be blessed by the pope as he leads a procession around the square before delivering mass outside.
On Good Friday, the pope presides over the Way of the Cross – a celebration even non-Catholics can enjoy. Held in the evening, outside of the Coliseum, pilgrims huddle together, holding candles as clergymen make their way around the imperial amphitheatre and up to Palatine Hill, where the service concludes. The procession stops fourteen times recalling the scenes of Jesus’ torture and crucifixion, known as the Passion of the Christ.
Jerusalem is the epicenter of the celebration of Easter and the city where the original Easter story took place. Over 10,000 people gather on Palm Sunday for a procession to commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It starts at Bethphage and continues into the Old City entering through the St. Stephen’s Gate and ends at the Church of St. Anne. On Good Friday Christians walk the path they believed Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion, many carrying their own crosses. Mass is held at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where many believed Jesus was buried and later resurrected. Easter sunrise service is held at the Garden Tomb.
There are around 7 million Catholics in Indonesia. The religion was brought to the Island by missionaries. Young men are honored to play Jesus and volunteer to be tied to a cross throughout the area.
The Scoppio del Carro (“Explosion of the Cart”) is a folk tradition of Florence, Italy. On Easter Sunday, a cart, packed full of fireworks and other pyrotechnics, is lit and “explodes.”
According to Wikipedia:
The event of the Scoppio del Carro has its origins in the First Crusade, when Europeans laid siege to the city of Jerusalem in a conflict to claim Palestine for Christianity. In 1097, Pazzino de’ Pazzi, a Florentine from a prominent family, was by tradition the first man to scale the walls of Jerusalem. As a reward for this act of bravery, his commander gave him three flints from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which were then carried back to Tuscany. These are kept in the Church of Santi Apostoli.
It became the practice for a “holy fire” to be struck from these flints at Eastertide, which was then carried throughout the city by groups of young men bearing torches. In time, this tradition evolved to something similar to what is seen today; a cart bearing a large candle was rolled through the city to the cathedral, from where the holy fire would be distributed.
By the end of the 15th century, the Scoppio del Carro assumed its present form.
Bermudians celebrate Good Friday by flying home-made kites, eating codfish cakes, and eating hot cross buns. According to Bermuda-Online.org, the tradition is said to have begun when a local teacher from the British Army had difficulty explaining Christ’s ascension to Heaven to his Sunday school class. He made a kite, traditionally shaped like a cross, to illustrate the Ascension. The traditional Bermuda kites are made with colorful tissue paper, long tails, wood, metal, and string.
Norwegians have an interesting tradition for the season known for “Easter-Crime” or Paaskekrim. At this time of year, many around the country read mystery books or watch the televised crime detective series on national television, according to The Norway Post. Many families escape up to the mountains for the vacation week beginning the Friday before Palm Sunday and ending the Tuesday after Easter Monday. When spending time in a ski cabin in the mountains, a popular past time is playing Yahtzee, according to About.com.
A mainly secular holiday in the Lutheran country of Sweden, Easter is celebrated with meals of eggs, herring, and Jansson’s Temptation (potato, onion and pickled sardines baked in cream). The most interesting tradition to come out of Sweden is that in the days leading up to Easter Sunday, children dress up as Easter witches, wearing old and discarded clothes, according to . Traveling from home to home in their neighborhoods, the children trade paintings and drawings for sweets.
How Do You Celebrate Easter?
Does your country or your family have any Easter Traditions? Tell us about them.