Interesting Easter traditions

While Easter may conjure up visions of colourful eggs and chocolate bunnies, different countries mark the holiday with their own Easter traditions. From kite flying to pot throwing, here are some of the unique ways that Easter is celebrated around the world. Here are some fun and interesting traditions!

France: Cooking up a giant omelette
In France, Easter traditions are a case of “go big or go home.” Since 1973, members of the Brotherhood of the Giant Omelette have gathered in Bessières, France, to cook an omelette made up of over a whopping 15,000 eggs. This tasty tradition is kept alive by an association of volunteer cooks who use oar-like wooden spoons and a four metre wide pan to prepare the feast over a large fire in the town square. The mouth-watering event attracts thousands of people every year, who gather to watch and wait for a taste.
How did this begin? The legend goes that when French military leader Napoléon Bonaparte and his army stopped to rest for a night near the town, he ate an omelette so delicious that he ordered the townspeople to gather all the eggs they had to prepare a giant version for his army the next day.
If you’ll be cooking enough ham to feed a small army yourself, these Easter leftover recipes may come in handy.

Finland: Easter witches
This Nordic country’s Easter traditions have a dash of Halloween sprinkled in the mix. To celebrate the holiday, Finnish children dress up like witches and go knocking door-to-door reciting a traditional rhyme wishing neighbours a healthy year in exchange for a chocolate egg or coin. Willow twigs decorated with colourful feathers and paper are also carried to drive away evil spirits. The tradition stems from the belief that evil spirits and witches used to wander around the streets misbehaving before Easter.

Italy: Fireworks explosion
You might need a pair of earmuffs if you’re in Florence, Italy, on Easter Sunday. The holiday starts off with a literal bang as locals gather to celebrate the 350-year-old Easter tradition of Scoppio del Carro, or “Explosion of the Cart.” A pair of oxen adorned in garlands pull a three-storey high wagon filled with fireworks through the streets to the front of the cathedral, accompanied by drummers, flag throwers and people in historical costumes. During Easter mass, the Archbishop of Florence lights a fuse that sends a dove-shaped rocket down a wire to cart, igniting a vibrant firework show. This extravagant custom dates back to the First Crusade and is meant to ensure a good harvest.

Australia: Chocolate bilbies
The beloved Easter bunny looks a bit different down under. In 1991, non-profit Rabbit-Free Australia launched a campaign to replace the rabbit—which is an invasive species in the country—with the endangered bilby. The big-eared marsupial is under threat due to an increase in predators and European wild rabbits taking over their habitats. Candy makers have taken to crafting chocolate and candy Easter bilbies in an effort to save the animal, with a portion of the proceeds going towards conservation organizations like the Save the Bilby Fund.

Guatemala: Colourful carpets
Cobblestone roads in Antigua, Guatemala, are transformed into colourful carpets to mark Easter. The stunning rainbow-hued pathways are made using coloured sawdust, vegetables and flowers and can stretch up to 800 metres long. Local artists use stencils to create the elaborate patterns and scenes covering traditional and religious themes. Feast your eyes on the display while you can—the Good Friday procession over the carpets will be followed by a clean-up team that’ll sweep up all remnants of the art.

Poland: Water fights
Set the alarm for Easter Monday in Poland—also known as Wet Monday—unless you want to start your week off soaked in bed. Traditionally, boys will soak the girls on Monday, with the girls seeking their revenge the following day. The weapons of choice for this massive water fight range from empty soap bottles to water balloons. According to legend, the girl who gets soaked the most will be the next one to get married within the year. Although the origin of this Easter tradition is uncertain, the use of water may represent the spring rains, which ensure another successful growing season.
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