Easter Around The World: 5 Unusual Easter Traditions

In France, Easter celebrations mean a long weekend, egg hunts, and chocolate overindulgence. But did you know that other countries in Europe or around the world have very different and sometimes surprising customs to celebrate this holiday? We invite you to discover 5 unusual Easter traditions from around the globe.

Celebrate a Springtime Halloween in Finland.

If you travel to Finland in the spring, don't be surprised to see children dressed up as witches or monsters during Easter celebrations! These little Finns are likely knocking on doors asking for treats...

Finland has one of the 5 most unusual Easter traditions in the world, as the festivities resemble more of a Halloween candy hunt than an egg hunt!

The children knock on doors reciting a spell meant to bless the house and waving a willow branch decorated with feathers. This astonishing custom aims to ward off evil spirits and ensure a good harvest.

2- Burning the Judas in Mexico.

In Mexico and other Central or Latin American countries, Easter traditions are very different but equally astonishing. In this part of the world, Easter is associated with fire.

A tradition from Spain dictates that fires be lit at the end of Holy Week to "burn the Judases." To honor this custom, locals create effigies of Judas, the devil, or even unpopular political figures using reeds, grasses, paper, and cardboard.

These figures are paraded through the streets and verbally abused by the crowd while awaiting their trial. The verdict is always the same, year after year: the Judases must be burned at the stake! Before being burned, they can also be beaten or hanged.

Another local tradition, somewhat less violent, involves children hitting piñatas with large sticks to retrieve candies and other treats.

3- Covering the streets with colorful carpets in Guatemala.

In a more peaceful style, Guatemala also boasts one of the five most unusual Easter traditions in the world.

In the city of Antigua, which is the former capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala, the streets are adorned with colorful carpets during Holy Week. These ephemeral creations, depicting religious scenes, Mayan traditions, or the country's history, are made from flower petals, wood shavings, sand, or colored powder.

These vibrant patterned artworks can be impressively large and may require several months of work. However, their lifespan is very short because the Good Friday processions walk over them...

Easter traditions in this country are so beautiful and unique that Guatemala's Holy Week was added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2023.

4- Have an egg fight in Greece.

In Greece, Easter customs involve eggs, but the locals do not just boil and eat them. One of the world's most unusual Easter traditions is to hold massive egg battles.

The aim of the game is to protect one's own egg while trying to break the opponents' eggs. When someone succeeds in breaking an egg, they must say Christos anesti!, "Christ has risen!"

On some islands like Corfu, residents throw large clay jugs filled with water from their balconies. They crash loudly onto the ground to ward off evil spirits. Some then collect the pieces of the shattered jugs and take them home as good luck charms...

Sprinkle oneself with water in Poland.

In Poland, it's a different kind of battle that is organized for Easter. Unlike the Greeks, the Poles don't have egg battles but water battles! This tradition is known as "Wet Monday."

In this predominantly Catholic country, water is a symbol of baptism and reminds residents that they need to wash away their sins. The funny custom aims to purify oneself from the past year's sins.

In this spring season, water is also a symbol of life and nature's renewal. Indeed, Poles once had the tradition of sprinkling their fields with holy water for Easter.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Agencia de Promocion Turistica de Centro America
Tags: Easter, Easter Traditions, egg, water, Guatemala, holy week, Finland, aims, ward, evil spirits, judases, Mexico, eggs, JUDAS, Greece, spring, Halloween, symbol, Poland, sand, capital, Intangible Cultural Heritage, ephemeral, Good Friday, Mayan, powder, flower, wood, involve, Holy water, baptism, Catholic, Greeks, balconies, clay, Corfu, Christ, boil, Antigua, CITY, harvest, egg hunt, resemble, Finns, witches, customs, Europe, Chocolate, long weekend, France,
In French: Pâques à travers le monde : 5 traditions de Pâques insolites
En español: Pascua alrededor del mundo: 5 tradiciones de Pascua inusuales
In italiano: Pasqua in tutto il mondo: 5 tradizioni pasquali insolite
Auf Deutsch: Ostern auf der ganzen Welt: 5 ungewöhnliche Ostertraditionen
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