Easter weekend is fast approaching. Sunday is the day when we celebrate Easter. Here in the village its often times too hard to put the eggs out in the snow so teachers have often organized egg hunts inside the school building.
Easter is celebrated in different ways in other countries so I thought I'd share several with you.
First is Australia where a group called Rabbit Free pushed to replace the rabbit with the rabbit eared bandicoot because in Australia, rabbits destroy crops and land so now instead of a chocolate rabbit, they sell chocolate bilby's.
2. In Florence, Italy, they have this unique custom of setting fire to a cart filled with fireworks. This custom known as "Scappio Del Carro has been around since the first crusades and meant to ensure a good harvest. They fill the cart with fireworks, push it through the streets before stopping in front of the Duomo where the Archbishop of Florence lights the fuse during Mass.
3. In Finland and other Scandinavian countries, children dress up as witches with made up faces, scarves wrapped around their heads, and carrying twigs with feathers attached as they go around begging chocolates from people.
4. Poland has an interesting custom dating from 966 AD based on the baptism of the local Prince. On Easter Monday, boys try to drench others using buckets of water, squirt pistols or other vessel. If a girl gets drenched, it is said she will marry within the year.
5. Over in Haux, France they celebrate Easter Monday by making a huge omelet using over 4,500 eggs. It feeds over 1000 people. Supposedly, the tradition began when Napoleon visited the area and loved the omelet he was served so much, he ordered people to gather their eggs and make one for his army.
6. The residents in Corfu, Greece people gather their pots, pans, and anything else made of earthenware and throw them over the balconies to smash on the ground. It is thought this was originally started to welcome spring.
7. In Norway, book sales of thrillers increase due to the habit of Norwegians reading crime novels so publishers publish special "Easter Thrillers" at this time of the year. It began as publicity stunt in 1923, when a publisher promoted a new thriller on the front page. Unfortunately, the add looked so much like regular news that people didn't realize it was a publicity stunt.
8. At the Vatican, there is a huge Way of the Cross held at the Coliseum complete with all 14 stations. There is a huge cross with burning crosses to illuminate the sky. Mass is celebrated on both the Saturday night and Easter Sunday and huge crowds await the Pope's blessing.
9. Now over in Slovakian countries, men spank women with whips made of willows and decorated with ribbons. The idea is that the willow being the first tree of spring transfers its vitality and fertility to women when spanked.
10. Verges, Spain is host to the death dance where people dress up in skeleton costumes to recreate scenes from the Passion so they parade down the street and ends with skeletons carrying boxes of ashes. The dance begins at midnight and ends at 3 in the morning.
11. Let us not forget the Easter egg roll held on the front lawn of the White House. Children roll hard boiled eggs across the lawn using spoons. It started out smaller but now it also hosts music, sports, etc.
12. Hungry has a variation of the Polish tradition but instead of throwing buckets of water, they sprinkle perfume or perfumed water on girls and asking for a kiss. This started out with boys throwing buckets of water but it calmed down over the years till they just sprinkle.
13. In Jerusalem, Chrisitans walk the path Jesus walked as he carried the cross for his crucifixion. Some people carry a cross but come Easter Sunday, they attend a service at the Garden Tomb, the area where it is believed Jesus was buried.
14. Last is the celebration in Sicily, Italy where locals are dressed in red outfits and bother souls to buy them drinks before the Virgin Mary and Christ after his rising chase away the devils thus saving everyone.
So this is a quick look at how Easter is celebrated around the world. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.