Many people around the world observe Easter as a significant religious holiday. It is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a central event in the Christian faith. Easter is celebrated in various ways across cultures, each of which reflects the beliefs and history of its adherents. People from different parts of the world have taken to twitter and tiktok to show and discuss how they celebrate Easter. In this article, we explore some of the diverse ways Easter is celebrated worldwide, shedding light on the rich tapestry of practices that make this holiday so special.
United States and Canada: Easter Egg Hunts and the Easter Bunny
The Easter Bunny is a popular representation of the holiday in North America, typically depicted as a rabbit bearing gifts such as eggs and candy. The Easter Bunny, along with eggs and chicks, have become cultural icons due to the commercialisation of the holiday. Easter egg hunts are a common tradition, in which children search for eggs hidden around the neighbourhood and reward them with candy or small prizes if they find them.
On the White House Easter celebration occasion, Vice President Biden took to Twitter to share his excitement.
Italy: Easter Processions and Scoppio del Carro
The southern regions of Italy, especially Sicily, are renowned for their extravagant Easter processions. Thousands of people visit Rome’s Via Crucis yearly to reenact the Stations of the Cross. Scoppio del Carro, also known as “Explosion of the Cart,” is a one-of-a-kind Florentine tradition in which a cart full of fireworks is set ablaze to guarantee a good harvest in the coming year. Local adults and children dress up in the traditional battenti costume — long white tunics with pointed hoods covering the head and face, except for two small holes for eyes — and a thick rope tied around the waist, transforming the church and village into a living theater depicting the passion of Christ. Italy is also famous for its traditional Easter foods, such as the sweet bread “Colomba di Pasqua” and “Pastiera Napoletana,” a Neapolitan Easter pie made with ricotta cheese, cooked wheat, and candied fruits.
Spain: Semana Santa, Passion Plays, and Traditional Easter Treats
Easter in Spain might be very different from how you usually spend it at home. There are no Easter egg hunts, big bunnies, or a lot of chocolate. In Spain, Easter is called “Holy Week,” or “Semana Santa.” It is a time for solemn processions and moving “passion plays.” Cities like Seville and Málaga are known for their fancy parades with huge floats called “pasos” that show scenes from the Passion of Christ. Spain also has many Easter treats, like “Torrijas,” which are made by soaking bread in milk, sugar, and eggs, frying it, and then sprinkling it with cinnamon. People from all over the world come to these events, and many of them wear traditional penitential robes.
This week is also a holiday for many Spanish people who go home to see their families or go somewhere new. During this week, you’ll also find that many smaller, family-run businesses are closed.
Australia: The Sydney Royal Easter Show, the Bilby, and Easter Camps
Australia celebrates Easter with the Sydney Royal Easter Show, which is a unique event and the country’s largest annual agricultural show. The show has competitions, entertainments, and displays that show the best of Australian agriculture and rural life. Instead of the Easter Bunny, Australia has chosen the native Bilby, an endangered marsupial, as a symbol of the holiday to promote conservation efforts. Fossil records suggest that bilbies have been bouncing around the Australian mainland for at least 15 million years, but they are sadly in danger of extinction today.
During the Easter break, many Australians also go to Easter camps, where families and friends get together to do things like camping, hiking, and water sports. Hot cross buns are also a staple of Australian Easter celebrations. Buns like these are sweet, spiced, and typically contain dried fruit like raisins.
Poland: Święconka, Smingus-Dyngus, and Easter Palm
Easter celebrations in Poland are full of bright and happy traditions. On Holy Saturday, families fill baskets with symbolic foods like painted eggs, sausages, bread, and salt. The baskets are then taken to the church for the Święconka ceremony, where the food is blessed by a priest. On Smingus-Dyngus, which is also called “Wet Monday,” people splash each other with water in a fun way to bring good health and luck. On Palm Sunday, Poles take part in processions with “palms” made of colorful dried flowers, willow branches, and ribbons. These “palms” represent the palms that were spread out when Jesus entered Jerusalem.
Easter is a time of celebration and reflection for people all around the world. While the core meaning of the holiday is rooted in the Christian faith, the diverse customs and evolved traditions showcase the richness and variety of human culture. From egg hunts and passion plays to unique foods and native symbols, Easter is a testament to the ability of people to adapt and create meaningful experiences that bring communities together in a spirit of joy and unity.
How do people in your country celebrate easter? Please share with me in the comments below.