Easter Around the World
Easter, as you may well know, is the Christian holy festival that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus that follows Good Friday, his crucifixion and burial. The Easter egg has become associated with the festival due to its ancient symbolism of new life and rebirth in western Christianity, but how does the rest of the world celebrate the most important holiday in the Christian religion?
European traditions and customs during Easter are surprisingly varied; In Norway its common for people to read crime-thriller novels and detective TV programmes, and its common in north-western Europe to light large ‘Easter Fires’ as a means for the community to come together. Sweden have an interesting custom in sending children dressed up as Easter witches to knock on doors and give small gifts such as paintings in return for sweets. A town in France called Haux is famous for making omelettes at this time of year; Napoleon famously ate some when his army was passing through and ordered the town to make them for the whole army the next day. A bizarre tradition which involves throwing water over the heads of unsuspecting girls originates from Hungary, and then there’s the ‘light spanking’ with decorative willow whips that boys give girls in the Czech Republic.
Rest of the World
In Haiti, the country takes this time of year very seriously and sees the countries original voodoo traditions mix with Catholicism – locals present body parts of a goat as an offering to the spirits and swim in a sacred lake, whilst others pray at the church and devout themselves to God, whilst the whole country enjoys ‘rara’ music played on bamboo trumpets, drums and even coffee jars. Brazil enjoys making straw caricatures of Judas, which are then beaten, burned and destroyed. In the Philippines locals are renown for self-flagellation by whipping themselves with bamboo sticks in a recreation of Jesus’ suffering, and in similar fashion Indonesians bear the cross to replicate his trials and tribulations.
So, on behalf of Vandu Language Services and our associates, have a wonderful Easter weekend!
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