It’s Easter Sunday, the day when Christians celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, and Christians and non-believers alike tuck into a feast of chocolate eggs. Many children will have woken this morning to search for the eggs left hidden around their houses and gardens by the Easter Bunny and, as well as the chocolate, there are other treats associated with Easter, like hot cross buns (made famous by the nursery rhyme) and Simnel cake (a fruit cake made with two layers of marzipan).
We may think that this is how things are all around the world, but it ain’t necessarily so. In other countries there are some peculiar customs. Let’s take a look at some of the ways Easter is celebrated around the world, starting close to home:
- In certain parts of Northern England ‘Pace Egging’ is a popular custom. From the name you might think this has something to do with walking an egg, but no. It is actually a village play which usually features a hero who dies in combat before being brought back to life – the rebirth theme of Easter
- In Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland, hens’ eggs (not chocolate ones) are decorated with paints and then rolled down a hill. The custom of ‘egg rolling’ goes back hundreds of years and a yearly competition is still held in Lancashire
- In the Netherlands, Easter is marked by the lighting of bonfires at sunset. This is also done in Cyprus where a dummy representing Judas Iscariot is often thrown on the fire – much like our Guy Fawkes on Bonfire Night
- In Germany, decorated eggs are hung from trees – it’s an Easter version of a Christmas tree
- For some unknown reason, crime dramas have become an Easter tradition in Norway. TV channels show murder mysteries and magazines publish Whodunnits
- Children in Sweden dress as witches at Easter and knock on doors asking for sweets – sound familiar?
- In the former Czechoslovakia, women are ‘beaten’ with soft ‘whips’ and may even be doused with cold water – this is said to keep them ‘healthy, beautiful and fertile’ for the next 12 months!
- In Bulgaria, hens’ eggs are decorated but, instead of rolling them, they fight (in a way similar to our ‘conkers’) until just one remains
- In Bermuda, Easter is marked by mass kite flying. It may sound weird but it symbolises Christ’s ascent to the heavens after His resurrection
Do you like the way we celebrate Easter, or would you rather be banging eggs together, watching a murder mystery or flying a kite? Let us know what you think by filling in the box below. And from all of us here at Education Quizzes, Happy Easter!