All around Australia kids are getting excited about Easter Egg hunts, participating in their schools Easter bonnet parade or attending Easter Shows. In Australia Easter is also the first school holidays since the Christmas break, time with family and friends and to enjoy the last warm days before winter arrives. While this is the tradition in Australia, Easter is celebrated around the world in a variety of ways, with different traditions celebrated from country to country.
Check out these 7 Easter traditions from around the globe and the history behind them.
Don’t forget a fork if you’re in the town of Haux on Eastern Monday where a giant omelette made with 4,500 eggs and feeds up to 1,000 people is served up in the town’s main square. The story goes, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they stopped in a small town and ate omelettes. Napoleon liked his omelette so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelette for his army the next day.
In Sweden, the children dress up as Easter witches wearing long skirts, colourful headscarves and painted red cheeks and go from home to home in their neighbourhoods trading paintings and drawings in the hope of receiving sweet treats.
3. Florence, Italy
In Florence Italy, locals celebrate a 350-year old Easter tradition know as Scoppio del Carro, or “explosion of the cart.” A huge decorated wagon led through the streets of the city by people in colourful costumes until it reaches the cathedral. When Gloria is sung inside the cathedral the Archbishop lights a fuse during Easter mass that leads outside to the cart, igniting a large fireworks display.
A Good Friday tradition comes from Bermuda, where people fly homemade kites, eating codfish cakes and hot cross buns. The tradition is said to have begun when a Sunday school teacher from the British Army was trying to explain Christ’s ascension to Heaven. He made a kite, traditionally shaped like a cross, to illustrate the Ascension. The traditional kites are made with colourful tissue paper and long tails.
In Bulgaria people don’t hide their eggs they have egg fights and whoever comes out of the game with an unbroken egg is the winner and assumed to be the most successful member of the family in the coming year.
In another tradition, the oldest woman in the family rubs the faces of the children with the first red egg she has coloured, symbolising her wish that they have rosy cheeks, health, and strength.
In many countries, Easter eggs are hidden and children hunt for them, in Germany Easter eggs are displayed on trees and prominently in streets, with some of the trees having thousands of multi-colour eggs hanging on them.
7. Washington D.C.
In the United States, the President hosts the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn on Easter Monday. The tradition carried out since 1878 involves children rolling a coloured hard-boiled egg with a large serving spoon.