Easter is almost here, and preparations are underway to celebrate, from Columbia to Cambridge, Berlin to Valencia. Easter is a very important holiday in many countries – a sacred date in many religious calendars. But, like Christmas, it’s a holiday that has become more mainstream over the years, now celebrated by many who aren’t religious at all – undoubtedly tempted by all those chocolate Easter eggs!
For those with friends, family and loved ones abroad, it’s often a time to get together, with children being given a holiday from school and parents given at least one long weekend off from work.
So just how will you be celebrating this year? We’ve taken a look at some of the unique Easter traditions from around the globe.
Semana Santa parades in Spain
Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is celebrated all over Spain, with processions taking place in major cities and small villages too, all to commemorate the Passion of the Christ. The biggest parades are traditionally held in Seville, where hundreds of men carry huge, lavish floats depicting scenes from Christ’s crucifixion and rebirth. Each day these heavy floats are decorated with fresh flowers and taken on a circuit of the city, followed by brass bands and children dressed in traditional robes, the air thick with incense. It’s a time of great feasting too, and once the floats return to their churches there are often parties long into the night.
‘Egg knocking’ in Louisiana, USA
Much like the traditional game of conkers, the old European tradition of egg tapping is enjoying something of a revival in Louisiana. Like conkers, eggs are tapped together to see which is the strongest, and the Louisiana town of Marksville claims to host the oldest ‘egg knocking’ contest in the US. Competitors gather on the steps of the courthouse every Easter Sunday to see who’ll be crowned the winner.
Easter egg hunting in the UK
The egg has always been a symbol closely linked to Easter, representing the rebirth of the earth in Pagan celebrations of spring and adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the rebirth of Christ, the egg likened to the tomb from which he arose. Hunting out Easter eggs, be they painted, hard-boiled or chocolate candy is a tradition that is centuries old in the UK, and since at least the 17th century the ‘Easter Bunny’ is said to be the one who hides the eggs all over people’s homes and gardens for little ones to find.
An unusual menu in Columbia…
Think of Easter and you might well picture a mountain of chocolate eggs, but in Columbia the traditional Easter menu looks very different. Easter really is a big celebration in Columbia, with family and friends travelling for hours on end by bus to get together and cook truly exotic feasts of turtle egg omelettes, iguana soup, cayman stew, and fried capybara – the world’s largest rodent. There’s also an annual egg hunt where the whole community gets involved in searching for thousands of hidden eggs, which are distributed across a football field for families and friends to collect and exchange for edible treats!
Don’t forget when traveling is not an option during this time of year you can get in touch with your family and friends, whether they are in the UK or anywhere else in the world, with Vonage.