Easter Traditions From Around The World

The Easter holidays are almost here and as children in England get excited about the Easter bunny, egg hunts and feasting on chocolate, the team at I Love meet and greet will be busy parking customers cars at the airport over the long bank holiday Easter weekend. And as our customers are flying off to many different destinations, we thought we would look at how Easter traditions vary around the world.

Easter in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, people don’t hide their eggs they have egg fights...the Easter eggs are decorated on the Thursday or Saturday before Easter and the tradition is to then fight with eggs in pairs. The one who’s egg is the last surviving is called borak, Bulgarian for fighter and is assumed to be the most successful member of the family in the coming year.

Easter in Germany

In Germany, Easter is celebrated with Easter Trees where decorated eggs are hung on branches of bushes and trees in gardens or streets and on twigs and branches displayed in the home. On Easter Saturday it is tradition to light bonfires to chase away the darkness of the winter.

Easter in Hungary

In Hungary, the day following Easter is called ‘Watering Monday’. Men usually visit families with girls and women. Water, perfume or perfumed water is then sprinkled on the women and girls of the house by the visiting men, who are given an Easter egg in exchange. People used to believe that the water had a cleaning, healing and fertility-inducing effect.

Easter in USA

Easter egg hunts, rolls and parades are common activities for communities across America with the Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival in New York city and the Union Street Spring Celebration and Easter Parade in San Francisco being the most famous. Another annual event is the White House Easter Egg Roll, a tradition started by President Rutherford B Hayes in 1878. Now hosted by the President of the United States and the First Lady, nearly 30,000 adults and children from across the nation gather on the South Lawn of the White House for egg rolling.

Easter in Corfu

If you are travelling to the Greek island of Corfu, on the morning of Holy Saturday, the traditional "pot throwing" takes place: People throw pots, pans and other earthenware out of their windows, smashing them on the street. Some say the custom derives from the Venetians, who on New Year's Day used to throw out all their old items. Others believe the throwing of the pots welcomes spring, symbolizing the new crops that will be gathered in the new pots.

Easter in France

In the town of Haux in France, a giant omelette made with 4,500 eggs that feeds up to 1000 people is served up in the town’s main square. Apparently, the story stems from when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they stopped in this small town and ate omelettes. Napoleon liked his so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelette for his army the next day.

Easter in Florence

Florence in Italy, locals celebrate a 350-year-old Easter tradition known as Scoppio del Carro, which sees a hugely decorated cart dragged through the streets by white oxen until they reach the cathedral. When Gloria is sung inside the cathedral, the Archbishop sends a dove-shaped rocket into the cart igniting a large firework display. A parade of medieval costumes follows the explosion of the cart.

Easter in Australia

Easter in Australia is celebrated in their Autumn. Traditionally the rabbit is one of the main symbols of Easter, but this is not the case for Australians. Each year, rabbits cause a lot of damage in Australia by destroying crops so the Bilby, a native animal (a rabbit like marsupial) is considered as their Easter symbol. To show their concern for this endangered animal, chocolate manufactures make Easter bilbies and share some of their profits to protect these animals from extinction.

Easter in Finland

If you are travelling to Finland you will see children dressing up like witches and begging for chocolate eggs in the streets with made-up faces and scarves around their heads, carrying bunches of willow twigs decorated with feathers. Some part of Finland will see people burning bonfires on Easter Sunday, a Nordic tradition stemming from the belief that flames ward off witches who fly around on brooms between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Easter in Czech Republic and Slovakia

Czech Republic and Slovakia If you are traveling to the Eastern European countries of Czech Republic and Slovakia over Easter you better watch your back. There's an Easter Monday tradition in which men playfully spank women with handmade whips made of willow and decorated with ribbons. According to legend, the willow is the first tree to bloom in the spring, so the branches are supposed to transfer the tree's vitality and fertility to the women.

If you are planning to take advantage of the long bank holiday Easter weekend by jetting off to sample some of the Easter traditions around the world, make sure to book your airport parking with I Love meet and greet.

By Sarah Anglim at 31 Mar 2019

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