When we think of Easter in the US, a few staples come to mind—the Easter Bunny, chocolate eggs, baskets and egg hunts...but around the world, Easter is celebrated in a number of different and unique ways. At Zeitgeist Gifts, we're all about opening our eyes to new cultures, ways of life, and ideas, so why not implement some fun changes into your Easter tradition this year? Whether you want to revamp your decorations, change up the classic Easter Egg Hunt, or try some new (and some might say "weird') traditions, we've got ideas that might just surprise you!
Easter Traditions around the World
In countries around the world, Easter tradition isn't always synonymous with eggs and bunnies. In Poland, for example, massive water fights are a common Easter festivity. The tradition is called Smingus-Dyngus and it involves soaking each other with squirt guns, water balloons, and pails of water. Legend suggests that if a girl is drenched with water, she'll be married in a year. If you're lucky enough to live in a warm-weather state, start stockpiling the water guns and balloons now!
Bermuda celebrates Easter by flying home-made kites on Good Friday—made with tissue paper, long, colorful tails, wood, metal and string. This tradition is believed to have started when a local Sunday school teacher was attempting to explain Christ's ascension to Heaven on Easter. The first kite was a cross and was used to explain the idea, but the tradition stuck around and now kites dot the skies in Bermuda on Easter. If you're in need of a fun, new family activity for Easter, homemade kites might be perfect!
In Colombia, Colombians forgo the traditional chocolates, eggs, and ham, and instead dine on iguanas, turtles and rodents for Easter Dinner. Rethinking the Easter menu, are you?
And for those of you who love Halloween, you can implement some of the Halloween traditions into your Easter holiday if you follow the classic Finnish tradition. There, witches play a big role during Easter. Children dress up as them and basically "Trick or treat" through the neighborhood. Classic Easter bonfires that are common in many European countries at Easter are used in Finland to scare off the witches believed to become more powerful during the Easter celebration. If you need an excuse to recycle that witch costume from Halloween, Easter might be the perfect time to pull it out!
It's all about the Easter eggs!
We have Germany to thank for the Easter egg painting tradition as the custom originated there. Germany is all about bright and colorful Easter eggs because the eggs symbolize new life. While other countries plan elaborately-hidden Easter Egg Hunts, in Germany, it's just as important to proudly display the eggs as it is to hunt for them. On Easter Sunday, it's very common to find the decorated eggs on display at the breakfast table. If you're looking to perfect your egg display this year, consider decorating with these adorable egg warmers that are sure to set your table apart!
If eating eggs at Easter is more your style, you'll fit in perfectly with those in Haux, France. Every year in Haux, an enormous omelet made from 4,500 eggs is served to the people of the town. The tradition is believed to have started back when Napoleon's army traveled through town. He enjoyed the omelet he had there so much, he made everyone in town gather their eggs to make a giant omelet to feed his troops the following day.
If eating, decorating, or hunting for eggs doesn't tickle your fancy this year why not follow the tradition made popular at the White House? For over 130 years, the White House Lawn in Washington D.C. has been home to the egg roll, where participants race to push their egg across the lawn with a large spoon faster than everyone else. Pair this game with a classic Easter Egg hunt or maybe even a little pin the tail on the bunny, and you’ll have party games for any Easter celebration!
Easter doesn’t have to be the same every year—stick to the classic customs you love, while also expanding the activities to match some of those celebrated in other countries. Your children will learn about other customs and cultures, and you might be surprised at how much fun can be had!