Celebrating Easter Around the World

March 28, 2024

Celebrating Easter Around the World

Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar, and it’s celebrated widely across the world in a number of diverse and surprising ways. Find out below how different countries, towns and cities around the globe mark this special time that’s synonymous with rebirth, fertility and hope for the year ahead.

Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia and Czech Republic - Wet Monday

Traditionally celebrated early in the morning on Easter Monday with young men throwing water and reciting poetry over young women as they sleep. In return the women give the men painted eggs (seems fair). This soggy spectacle is seen as a fertility ritual. It’s evolved over the years into a huge communal water fight. 

Corfu, Greece - Pot Throwing

On Easter Saturday in Corfu, old pots called ‘Botides’ are filled with water and thrown out of windows into the streets below as an orchestra plays. This spectacular and slightly unnerving tradition symbolises the resurrection of Christ.

Finland and Sweden – Witches

During Easter, children in Finland and Sweden dress up as witches with broomsticks and wander about the streets together hunting for treats. The story goes that during Easter the witches fly off to talk to Satan. The treats are seen as bribes, so the witches will then chase away Satan’s evil spirits.

Bessieres, France – Festival of the Enormous Omelette

Every Easter in a small town in southern France, north-east of Toulouse, 15,000 eggs are collected. Not for Easter eggs, but for an enormous omelette big enough to feed thousands of people. For free! There’s a legion of volunteers, a huge number of spectators and an energetic festival atmosphere. Legend says that when Napoleon travelled to the area, he was so enamoured with the omelette he was served at a local hotel, that he returned every year with all of his men to have another. It’s an unusual and delightful tradition that brings people together over a long weekend of festivities.

Bermuda – Kite Flying

Bermuda has a long history of kite-flying at Easter. On Good Friday, people come together to make colourful hexagonal kites to fly over the weekend. They do this alongside food festivals, spring activities and sunrise services to celebrate the important time in the Christian calendar.

Florence, Italy – The Explosion of the Cart

Every year on Easter Sunday in the city of Florence they celebrate with ‘The explosion of the cart’. A tradition that dates back 350 years. An elaborate, tall wagon, built in 1622 is pulled by a pair of decorated oxen through the streets of Florence to the Piazza del Duomo. At 11am, when the Gloria is sung inside the church, the Archbishop lights a small rocket which flies down a wire and travels outside to the cart, setting off a magnificent fireworks display. This is accompanied by loud cheers from the crowds in the square.

Denmark – Teasing Letters 

During Easter, Danes send out ‘teasing’ letters written on paper with elaborate cut-outs. The tradition dates back to the 16th century when it was originally a bit more like a valentine. It’s now developed into teasing letters. This is where an individual sends a letter to a friend or family member before Easter with a riddle inside. The sender must give a clue to their identity by putting a number of dots that correspond to the number of letters in their name. If the recipient guesses who they are, the sender owes the recipient an Easter egg!