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How Easter is Celebrated Around the World

3. April 2012 by Masha 0 Comments

Have you begun preparing for the upcoming Easter holiday? Many people have already started spring cleaning, buying ingredients for breads and cakes to bake, and getting ready to decorate colorful Easter eggs.


However, this important occasion is honored in different ways all around the world.


Are you chatting with men who live in the United States, Australia, Europe, Canada, or elsewhere? Ask them how they will be spending this special day. Western culture will celebrate Easter this Sunday, April 8th, while the Eastern Orthodox Church marks the holiday on April 15th.


United States

Easter egg decorating in the U.S. is typically reserved for children and bright pastel colors are used. They are placed in an Easter basket the night before the holiday so that the Easter bunny can add candy and toys alongside the eggs. Traditional church services are festive family gatherings are held, along with parades in larger cities. On Easter Money, the President hosts an Easter Egg Roll at the White House for children. Baked ham is a popular main course for Easter feasts.



While Easter is celebrated in Australia around the same time of year as other countries, the season is autumn rather than spring. In Sydney, there is an agricultural show known as the Royal Easter Show which includes the country's best produce, farm animals, parades, rides, fireworks, food, sideshows and more. Australians prefer the Bilby as the symbol for Easter as it is native to Australia and also because of the fact that the rabbit has destroyed land, crops, vegetation and burrows of other native Australian species. Children play the Egg Knocking game.



In Rio de Janeiro, one of the world's most famous carnivals is held before Lent. Holy Week in Brazil begins with the blessing of the palm branches, which are woven in intricate patterns representing crosses, banners, letters, and other related objects. Streets are decorated with colored patterns drawn on the road surface over which a procession walks, carrying statues of Mary and the body of Christ. A special food called pacoca, is prepared by mixing together crushed nuts and other ingredients into a paste, which is given to visitors. On Easter Saturday, Carnival makes a brief reappearance with a Hangover Ball to celebrate the hanging of Judas.



In Canada, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are public holidays. In Quebec, Canadians hold the Winter Carnival which consists of a big parade and special sporting events such as skating, skiing, and tobogganing. Eggs are forbidden during Lent but after fasting they are eaten in maple syrup.



Pancake races are a centuries-old tradition that is still practiced in some towns. Racers hold frying pans with hot pancakes still cooking in them. They race to the church while flipping the cakes in the pan. The Morris Dance is demonstrated by springtime dancers called Morris Dancers. They wear white shirts and red sashes. They have straw hats with streamers that dip and curl when they dance. Red and green ribbons are tied above the knees of their black trousers. Rows of little bells jingle as the dancers perform.



Church bells that ring daily throughout the year in France are silent during Easter weekend while people remember the death of Jesus. On Easter Sunday morning, the bells ring out once again and people hug and kiss each other. Children wake up to find Easter eggs hidden around their rooms. The eggs are said to have been bought from Rome where the church bells had gone to see the Pope and when the bells returned they bought with them the eggs.



The Easter Fire is a tradition in Germany where all the old Christmas trees are gathered up and burnt in a special place, to clean away the last signs of winter and move onto spring. Germans cook a type of thick doughnut called a Cruller to use up fat before Lent. They also have an egg tree, a small tree branch put in a vase about two weeks before Easter. Real eggs that have been painted and decorated are hung from the branches. Other small, highly decorated eggs the family has collected are also hung on the tree.



In Italy, olive branches are used on Palm Sunday instead of palm branches. Italians claim to have been the first to invent chocolate Easter eggs. Pretzels were originally an Easter food; the twisted shape is supposed to represent arms crossed in prayer. After Easter Sunday morning mass, people return home for the Easter dinner, where the most important dish is agnellino, roasted baby lamb.



In Wales, Palm Sunday is called Flowering Sunday, and families traditionally visit the graves of their relatives to lay flowers. They also have famous Welsh singing contests which are known as Gymansa Ganu. Choirs from various chapels in the area come together to take part in these festivals and special guest conductors are invited.


It's fun to learn how different cultures celebrate holidays. Be sure to wish your favorite gentlemen a Happy Easter, or Joyeuses Pâques (French), or Fröhlich Ostern (German), or Buona Pasqua (Italian), or Felices Pascuas (Spanish), or Fu huo jie kuai le (Chinese)! 


Source: www.easterbunnys.net