Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter In Different Countries


Can you believe it's already time for Easter? It has definitely thrown me for a loop and just sort of jumped on board! I've had so much going on the first quarter of 2015 that I must say, my mind just wasn't prepared for it.

However, when I used to go into the office everyday, I would have been counting the days until the holiday because I usually got Good Friday off. I know that's terrible but when you don't get many days off, that's on top of your list of things to look forward to.

But now that I work from home, it's more difficult to keep up with the holidays. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to see what other countries do to celebrate Easter. So I found an interesting article from Woman's Day that I thought I'd share with you.

Kids in the U.S. grow up expecting a delivery of eggs and candy from the Easter bunny each year, but it may seem odd to an outsider. Brought to this country by German immigrants in the 1700s, the practice is rooted in the belief that rabbits and eggs symbolize fertility and rebirth. While this may be the norm in America, however, other cultures have their their own, unique Easter celebrations. Whether it's drenching one another with water in Poland or reading crime novels in Norway, check out 10 Easter traditions from around the globe and the history behind them.

Children in this Scandinavian country go begging in the streets with sooty faces and scarves around their heads, carrying broomsticks, coffeepots and bunches of willow twigs. In some parts of Western Finland, people burn bonfires on Easter Sunday, a Nordic tradition stemming from the belief that the flames ward off witches who fly around on brooms between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Pouring water on one another is a Polish Easter tradition called Smingus-Dyngus. On Easter Monday, boys try to drench other people with buckets of water, squirt guns or anything they can get their hands on. Legend says girls who get soaked will marry within the year. The refreshing tradition has its origins in the baptism of Polish Prince Mieszko on Easter Monday in 966 AD.

Don't forget a fork if you're in the southern French town of Haux, France on Easter Monday. Each year a giant omelet is served up in the town's main square. And when we say giant, we mean giant: The omelet uses more than 4,500 eggs and feeds up to 1,000 people. The story goes, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they stopped in a small town and ate omelets. Napoleon liked his so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelet for his army the next day. 

Easter is such a popular time for Norwegians to read crime novels that publishers actually come out with special "Easter Thrillers" known as Paaskekrimmen. The tradition is said to have started in 1923 when a book publisher promoted its new crime novel on the front pages of newspapers. The ads resembled news so much that people didn't know it was a publicity stunt.

Traveling to these Eastern European countries over Easter? If so, you'd better watch your back! There's an Easter Monday tradition in which men spank women with handmade whips made of willow and decorated with ribbons. According to legend, the willow is the first tree to bloom in the spring, so the branches are supposed to transfer the tree's vitality and fertility to the women. This playful spanking is all in good fun and isn't meant to cause pain.

That's just a few ways that different countries celebrate Easter. Who would of "thunk", right?

So, how do you plan to celebrate?




1 comment:

  1. Cute Care Bear joke. ;)

    We do the egg hunt—indoors because the weather is always iffy. Then we have a relaxing morning, playing with my daughter's new gifts from the EB. We don't do the whole candy only in the basket because presents are so much better, and healthier. Yes, there will be some dark chocolate though. ;) After that we head to visit relatives.

    Happy Easter!

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