Easter is often classified as the fundamental holiday in the Christian year – a festive celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.
In a media-desensitized world of terrorism, racism, warfare, sexism and other detrimental events impinging the daily lives of people around the world, positive global connections are often distant reminiscences.
As a result, human society must remember to turn to one another in search of positive connection. Learning about Easter traditions around the world is a wonderful approach of appreciating human differences and embracing cultural diversity.
North America and UK
Families in North America and parts of United Kingdom gather on Saturday before the Easter Sunday and engage in egg coloring and embellishing. According to the traditional beliefs, the Easter Bunny will clandestinely and delicately place a beautiful basket of Easter eggs and other tasty chocolate treats for each child in the house. Furthermore, various families arrange festivities known as egg hunts, in which children happily and anxiously search for the Easter eggs scattered throughout the house and garden.
Australian families partake in various town festivities celebrating Easter, which in Australia marks the end of the summer season.
Captivatingly, the Easter Bunny is not the traditional symbol of Easter in Australia. Instead, the Bilby – a member of a marsupial omnivore family – is the character the children believe provides the endless supply of the vibrant Easter eggs.
And for a good reason!
The rabbits are not native to Australia and have a history of invasive behavior toward native Australian ecosystem.
Belgium and France
The children in Belgium and France firmly believe that the church bells leave their hometowns on a Saturday before Easter and go to Rome to collect Easter eggs directly from the pope, himself. The Saturday before Easter is known as the “Silent Saturday” ; the church bells traditionally do not ring on the Saturday before Easter indicating to children that the bells were indeed on their magical travel to Rome.
Many towns in Greece present outdoor festivities featuring several elements of Greek cuisine such as lamb, bread, eggs, and salads.
Time-honored Easter bread loaf – a flat and round bread loaf with a cross in the middle outlined by alluring Easter eggs – embodies the resurrection of Christ in Greece.
The streets are often washed with rose water in hopes of surrendering to its healing properties in the upcoming year – as well as refreshing the spirits. The Greeks color their eggs in bright red shades glorifying the blood of Christ.
Ethiopian Easter festival – also known as Fassika – is a special holiday celebrated by a noble feast featuring a large loaf of sourdough bread called “Dabo”. Generosity plays a fundamental role of the Easter holiday in Ethiopia. Visitors are greeted with a slice of “Dabo” as a means of honoring the crucifixion of Christ.
Additionally, the Ethiopians wear white clothing exemplifying purity and display headbands created from palm leaves symbolizing the actual palm leaves during Jesus’ passage before crucifixion.
Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia
For eastern European countries, Easter is a day of visiting and sharing. Friends and family bring vibrantly decorated Easter baskets as they visit, embodying love and good spirit.
Children and adults engage in an amusing game of egg cracking where components compete for the strongest egg. Each participant is given one chance to knock on the component’s egg with an attempt to break the shell and continue to attack the next egg. As the eggs break, participants are eliminated until the strongest egg prevails. The winner of the contest is expected to have a successful upcoming year according to the traditional beliefs.
Respectively, a white cloth containing cheese, onions, eggs, salt, and bread is taken to church to be blessed on a holy Easter Sunday. The blessed food is then shared among friends and family during the traditional Easter feast.
A tasty cake called “Pinice” is served as a desert – a type of sweet bread with lemons and raisins.
Easter in China symbolizes the conclusion of winter and the magnificent rebirth of spring. Easter eggs, baby chicks and rabbits are the foundation of Chinese Easter tradition, depicting life and birth.
The eggs, specifically, denote fertility as life begins in the form of an egg. Customarily, the Chinese like to portray dazzling art illustrations of women and nature dignifying the outer surface shells of the eggs.
Chinese celebrations of Easter go back as far as 3000 years, when the coloring of eggs was first initialized to celebrate spring festivities. Contrary to popular belief, honoring the resurrection of Christ is also a vital part of celebrating Easter in Chinese cultures, epitomizing multi-cultural roots in terms of religion in China.
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