Happy Easter everyone! Some of us are gearing up for lots of indulging in chocolate bunnies or taking part in Easter egg hunts! Others may be attending religious services. And, while not everyone celebrates the holiday, even if you don’t, here are six places that do celebrate with fun and unusual traditions! Enjoy!
Historically, people often prepared for Easter by spring cleaning their home, buying new clothes and cutting hair and fingernails.
To mark the end of Lent, people hold a mock funeral for a herring. Historically during Lent (the 40 days before Easter), Catholics abstain from eating red meat and usually eat fish. Hence, the fish funeral!
2. Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland has egg rolling. The tradition symbolizes the rolling away of the stone from Jesus’ tomb.
Like in the U.S., the Easter Bunny visits Germany. Also like the U.S. decorated eggs are popular.
In the southern Bavarian town of Traustein, hundreds of horse riders dress in traditional costume and take part in an Easter parade. The processional is known as the Georgiritt. People taking part in the parade make their way to a local church where they'l be blessed.
In the northern Bavarian region of Franconia, they've got the Osterbrunnen, or the Easter fountain. The fountain gets decorated with garlands and decorated eggs.
Some parts of Germany do the ‘egg dance’ – people place eggs on the ground, then dance among them, trying not to damage the eggs.
Three weeks before Easter, Germans celebrate the summer day parade, or Sommertagszug. There’s an Easter market (Ostermarket) where people can pick up ”Eastery“ crafts and goods.
How about an egg tree? Yup, families hang Easter eggs from “the Easter tree” or Osterbaum.
In Antigua, a city in the central highlands of Guatemala, they have an Easter festival, a tradition started by Spanish missionaries in the 1700's. The festival includes a week of celebrations, with a procession through the town.
Did you know that Argentina has a Jesus theme park? Uh huh, and Easter is the busiest time to visit. Typically, the park has a plastic Jesus that is resurrected every hour with plastic statues depicting the Passion. But, during Easter weekend, actors perform a live version.
6. United States
The town of Marksville, Lousisiana, claims to host the oldest "egg-knocking" competition in the United States. Originally, it was a European tradition, but it’s becoming popular in Louisiana. Participants get together in pairs on the steps of the courthouse on Easter Sunday and tap the tips of two eggs together. The person whose egg cracks is out of the competition. The knocking continues until just one egg remains.
They also egg-knock in countries including the Netherlands, India and Greece!
Have you been to any of these places during Easter and seen or taken part in these traditions? I'd love to hear about it on Facebook or in the comment section below!