Published On: Apr 18 2014 02:04:06 PM EDTUpdated On: Apr 18 2014 02:17:02 PM EDT
Eggs, candy and bunnies are traditionally all part of America's Easter holiday. Take a look at the interesting ways in which other countries celebrate Easter.
United Kingdom. Today, people in the British Isles celebrate Easter in much the same way as Americans. Historically though, the old custom called "lifting" occurred on the two days after Easter. On Easter Monday, men lifted their wives and women friends in chairs covered with white fabric and decorated with colorful ribbons. The following day, the ladies lifted the gentlemen in the same way. The custom was said to be a memorial of Christ being raised from the grave.
Haux, France. Each year a giant omelet is served up in the town’s main square. The omelet uses more than 4,500 eggs and feeds up to 1,000 people.
Rome, Italy. On Good Friday the Pope commemorates the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) at the Colosseum: A huge cross with burning torches illuminates the sky as the 14 Stations of the Cross are described in several languages. Mass is celebrated on the evening of Holy Saturday, and on Easter Sunday, thousands of visitors congregate in St. Peter’s Square to await the Pope’s blessing from the church’s balcony, known as “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and to the World”).
Finland. Scandinavian children go begging in the streets with sooty faces and scarves around their heads, carrying broomsticks, coffeepots and bunches of willow twigs.
Corfu, Greece. On the morning of Holy Saturday, the traditional “Pot Throwing” takes place on this Greek island. 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 of their old items.
Poland. Pouring water on one another is a Polish Easter tradition called Smingus-Dyngus. On Easter Monday, boys try to drench other people with buckets of water, squirt guns or anything they can get their hands on. Legend says girls who get soaked will marry within the year.
Verges, Spain. On Holy Thursday in the town of Verges, Spain, the traditional “dansa de la mort” or “death dance” is performed. To reenact scenes from The Passion, everyone dresses in skeleton costumes and parades through the streets.
Hungary. A tradition called "Sprinkling," a popular Hungarian Easter tradition, is observed on Easter Monday, which is also known as "Ducking Monday." Boys playfully sprinkle perfume or perfumed water on girls. People used to believe that water had a cleaning, healing and fertility-inducing effect.
To read more about how Easter around the world, visit Womansday.com.