Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weird Easter traditions

The Daily Mirror has published a list of ten weird Easter traditions from around the world. They include:

  • In the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia there's a tradition of spanking or whipping women on Easter Monday.
  • In Finland, children dress up and go begging in the streets with sooty faces, carrying broomsticks.
  • On Maundy Thursday in Verges, in Spain, a traditional “death dance” is performed which involves a parade down the streets of the medieval town. Everyone involved is dressed in costumes and the procession ends with frightening skeletons carrying boxes of ashes.
  • If the man of the house in Poland takes part in preparing the traditional Easter bread, custom has it that his moustache will turn grey and the dough will fail.
  • More than 4,500 eggs are used to cook up a giant omelette on the streets of Haux in France.
  • In Switzerland, villages turn their fountains into Easter Wells, using paper streamers, flowers and painted eggs to decorate them.
  • In Germany the tradition is to create an Easter fire out of used Christmas trees from the winter.
  • In Latvia, the traditional Easter game played by the children is similar to conkers – but with eggs. Players pair off and use hard-boiled coloured eggs joined together with string. Competitors bang the ends of the eggs together until one player’s egg breaks.
  • The Easter bunny is the most popular symbol of Easter thanks to the Americans, but over in Australia they prefer to use their native marsupial, the bilby.
  • At the Hocktide festival in Hungerford, England, the town’s new police constable blows his horn to call all the men to the Hocktide Court in the town hall. Two men are then elected and parade through the streets giving women oranges in return for kisses.

Details and pictures at the link. Extraordinary stuff! I'd certainly never heard of a bilby until I read this report. Strange-looking creatures . . . like so many other Australian fauna.



Anonymous said...

Personally, I think the giant bunny chocolate eggs hidden under shrubs is bizarre. That's no way to observe Passover!


Mikael said...

Here in sweden, it's traditional for little children(especially girls) to dress up as witches and go begging door to door, similarly to american halloween. Sometimes they'll have painted eggs to trade for candy. Painting eggs is traditional as well, both hardboiled eggs, and painting fresh eggs, and using a needle to poke holes at each end, and blowing in one hole to empty it, creating a painted but intact eggshell.

We also have a tradition of hiding large eggshaped paper/cardboard containers with candy in them somewhere in the house, for the children to search for them.

A lot of the time though, they are simply given out, especially when the children have reached or passed puberty.