Easter traditions around the world

For travelers abroad or expatriates, it’s always very interesting to observe or take part in the festivities of your destination or adopted country, in order to better understand its culture. … Customs and traditions remain unique to each country. What are other countries doing for Easter? It’s time to discover customs from around the world!


La chasse aux nids de Pâques

In Germany, Switzerland and many other countries, children and even some adults hunt for Easter nests. What does it involve? These are baskets or boxes filled with bunnies or chocolate eggs, sweets and toys, supposedly hidden by the Easter Bunny himself.

Les traditions de processions

In many countries, Easter is a festival associated with pilgrimage and procession traditions. These processions can take many forms. In the Philippines, for example, children are dressed as angels, and a procession of men behind Christ joins a procession of women behind a statue of the Virgin Mary. In Latin America and South America (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela), you’ll find colorful, dancing traditions.

Les processions de Popoyan, Colombie

Popoyan’s Holy Week processions are one of the oldest traditions in Colombia. They were promoted to the rank of Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009. They last 5 days until Easter. This Catholic religious event celebrates Mary, Jesus, the Cross, the Entombment and the Resurrection, with one procession each evening.

Easter Bunny, États-Unis

It’s the famous Easter Bunny who will bring the chocolates to the children (and adults…). On Easter morning, a highly original parade is held in New York. Men and women gather on 5th Avenue to parade around in eccentric hats.

Défier les traditions, Australie

In kangaroo country, rabbits are seen as morons. This animal is considered a scourge because it harms the environment. In recent years, it has been increasingly replaced by the bilby, a small marsupial from the Australian desert. With his big ears, he’s no match for the rabbit, and now hides the eggs in the garden before the traditional hunt.

Faire tapis au Guatemala

At Easter, Guatemalans don’t walk on clouds, but on carpets of flowers. In Guatemala, Holy Week is sacred and is the occasion for numerous celebrations throughout the country. But it’s in Antigua that they’re at their most divine. In the beautiful colonial town, during the Easter season, the locals make superb multicoloured carpets from sawdust, fresh flowers and even fruit.

Les pots en argile  volant, Grèce

A tradition that dates back to the 16th century. On Easter Saturday, at precisely 11 a.m., the inhabitants of the Greek island of Corfu throw clay pots from their balconies. The menu includes eggs and lamb, as well as a tripe soup in which the heart and lungs of the Paschal lamb are cooked. Tables are adorned with “Tsoureki”, a beautiful braided brioche often topped with hard-boiled eggs whose shells are painted red. Greek Easter is particularly important, with sometimes monumental processions, as in Corfu, which welcomes more tourists, many of them Greek, than in the busier August months.

Les batailles d’eau, Pologne

The Poles celebrate Smigus Dyngus (Wet Monday), the water festivities taking place on Easter Monday. The event echoes the baptism of a former sovereign, and thus the country’s conversion to Catholicism. As water is a symbol of life, friends and family drink together to purify themselves.

Les diables du Salvador

In El Salvador, Easter is celebrated according to traditions inherited from both Christianity and indigenous rites. The streets are lined with men dressed as devils, called “Talcigüines”, who are responsible for whipping those who wish to take part in the event. Behind this celebration lies a simple meaning: that of the struggle of good against evil, of Jesus against the Devil. At the end of the ritual, the devils fall to the ground, surrendering to Jesus. It is customary for them to remain on the ground for long periods under the midday sun…

La distribution de Bretzels et l’œuf des amoureux, Luxembourg

Luxembourgers celebrate Pretzel Sunday, or Bretzelsonnden, on the third Sunday of Lent. Easter tradition dictates that on Pretzel Sunday, the man gives this pastry to the woman of his heart. If she accepts, the man can visit her on Easter Day to receive an egg in return.

Pâques ou Halloween suédois?

In Sweden, children dress up as witches. They paint their faces, carry a broom and go knocking on neighbors’ doors to fill their bags with candy and chocolates, just like American children do for Halloween.

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