Easter Traditions Around the World

Easter traditions vary wildly, from the sacred to the profane (mostly the former), from the “Oh, how beautiful!” to the “Say what?” Here on this Easter weekend are some images and descriptions of Easter traditions around the world. I hope you’ll enjoy them, but more–much more–I pray you may know the joy they represent!

Click on any image to enlarge it, or to begin the slide show.

  • Africa – In many African countries, churches are decorated with Vitenge and Kanga, “clothes” depicting butterflies, flowers, banana trees, and other symbols of new life.
  • Armenia – During Medz Zadig (Big Celebration), families hit each other with hard-boiled red eggs, also symbols of new life. The egg that doesn’t break decides the winner.
  • Australia – In Australia Easter bilbies (a much-loved endangered species) are quickly replacing Easter bunnies (considered pests). Chocolate manufacturers even donate a part of their profits to bilby preservation.
  • New Zealand – Meanwhile, in Otago, New Zealand, where bunnies (wild rabbits) ravage crops, farmers hold an annual Great Easter Bunny Hunt. As the title indicates, they’re not hunting for eggs.
  • France – Children receive treats not from the Easter Bunny, but from the Easter Bells. Church bells are silent during Holy Week. But then, legend says, when they are finally rung on Easter day, after having flown to Rome and been blessed by the Pope, the bells distribute goodies to kids!
  • Germany – Many countries hide their Easter eggs, but Germans also line their towns and city streets with them in the form of elaborately decorated Easter Trees!
  • Greece – On Easter Saturday, residents of Corfu throw pots from their windows, filling the streets with broken crockery. Out with the old, and in with the new! Which is why, throughout Greece virtually all Easter eggs are red, representing the blood of Christ, the color of life!
  • Italy – In Florence, residents celebrate the scoppio del carro, “exploding of the cart,” by filling a cart with dynamite and igniting it, blasting blessings onto the town! Meanwhile, residents of nearby Panicale roll huge wheels of Ruzzola cheese around the town, producing less explosive blessings (unless, of course, they’ve eaten a whole lot of that cheese).
  • New Guinea – Chocolate is rare in New Guinea, so they have “tobacco trees.” Trees outside churches are decorated with tobacco and cigarettes. These “treats” are distributed after Easter services.
  • Norway – TV channels run crime shows and publishers release scads of new detective novels at Easter time. Even milk cartons feature short crime stories. Because…?
  • Russia – Traditional Easter meals include “butter lambs,” butter carved into lambs. Why? Because Satan can take the form of any animal except a lamb!
  • Spain – In Andalusia, during Semana Santa (Holy Week), people carry candle-lit floats depicting the Easter story for miles (even Hollywood star Antonio Banderas participates). Meanwhile, in Verges, Spain, people parade through the streets dressed as skeletons, doing the Dansa de la Mort (Dance of Death)! The last skeletons in the parade carry boxes of ashes. Why? Because our old lives are dead…

And our new lives have begun!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Easter Traditions Around the World

  1. Eliza Ayres says:

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yep, nothing says “He is risen!” like blowing up a cart and giving tobacco “treats” to little lungs…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Tina says:

    Very interesting and colourful! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Erika says:

    Interesting to know more about the Easter traditions of other countries. But the Germans do hide their Easter eggs (and candies, chocolate eggs, …) too which are to be found by the children on Easter Sunday. Lined eggs are only for decorations.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nancy Ruegg says:

    A very informative and fun post, Mitch! I learned a lot clicking through the slide show and then reading the celebration highlights for each country. Wouldn’t mind visiting those that produce the intricately-designed eggs, or France (where I might sample that omelet), or Bermuda, to participate in that kite extravaganza on the beach. But I’ll skip Hungary, thank you very much. No bucket of cold water for me!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It is amazing to see the various interpretations of Resurrection Sunday

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sheree says:

    How interesting! I had no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoyed the photos and learning of the many cultural traditions associated with Easter.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Skyblue Tony says:

    Mitch, I love your closeness to God and your sense of humor; I share an appreciation for Godzilla and thank you for directing us to other good bloggers; I know that when I need a boost to stay close to God and to remain upbeat and hopeful, I can come to your blog for both honest vulnerability and silly laughter. So it is in that sense of admiration that I ask a favor.

    Surely it is worth taking the time to discover and mention which countries in Africa do which traditions. It’s a whole, humongous, varied, rich continent, and you would never stop at saying simply, “In Europe, Easter is celebrated by…”.

    Thank you for your always fascinating slide shows. May this unique Holy week in isolation prove joyful in spite of the hardships we all endure now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Hi, Tony. I agree! But unfortunately that was all the sources I had gave me about the two things I used (the info re. “clothing” churches and the photo of the man playing Jesus in an Easter vigil), probably because these are practiced by multiple countries. There was an image of Easter in Ghana, but it wasn’t clear, and there was a bit about people partying all nght in South Africa, but I chose not to use it. Have a blessed Easter, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. A good read and share. I have never understood how Easter Island got its holy., celebrated name. There must be a big splashing reason. 💦

    Liked by 1 person

  11. They all look amazing. I love all the hand painted eggs. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. rahjomuelvin says:

    Amazing! 😁
    True, though, few celebrates for its real meaning; to give the focus to WHOM it is due.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Re-Farmer says:

    Really interesting! Thanks for sharing these. I love the photos of basket blessings. Sadly, we won’t be able to do that this year, as all the local churches are closed right now, but we’re still going a basket, and will bless it ourselves, as we did for many years before we found somewhere we could take them to.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. cat9984 says:

    I’m no sure I approve of them hunting thr Easter Bunny in NZ. Couldn’t they find another rabbit to go after? 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ann Coleman says:

    What a fun blog for Easter morning! I loved seeing how other cultures celebrate, and seeing celebrations that we’re not allowed to have this year reminded me that the big celebrations will be back one day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Indeed, Ann. Although, interestingly, it’s been pointed out to me that this is closer to what the first Easter morning was like, when the disciples of Jesus were cloistered away in private places. Have a blessed Easter.


  16. Debby Winter says:

    Hi Mitch you earned a follow for this one 😉 I wish you and your loved ones the renewal of love, happiness, and life. Have a wonderful Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

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