Easter is just a few days away, and though we usually link it to bunnies and painted eggs, that might not be the case for people from other countries. In preparation for this event, today we tell you about 6 most bizarre Easter traditions from all around the world. Check them out, and see if you can incorporate some of them to your own celebrations!
Bizarre Easter tradition #6: Begging
While in the United States it’s customary to simply give children beautifully decorated eggs and other treats, in Finland the celebration is quite different. During Easter, the children decorate their faces with soot, bundle up in thick and colorful jackets and scarves, and go around the streets begging for treats while carrying brooms and coffeepots. The children receive chocolate eggs, but also a desert called mämmi.
The celebration is much more similar to Halloween than the American Easter traditions, and in some places of Finland people will even light up bonfires to keep witches away.
Bizarre Easter tradition #5: Colorful carpets
One of the most beautiful Easter traditions from all over the world occurs in Guatemala, where during the entire Holy Week the locals enjoy different religious celebrations. For the main parade, the Guatemalan people decorate the street creating a long temporary carpet using elements such as sawdust, flowers and vegetables. This carpets depict different motifs: from local flora and fauna, to masks, coats of arms, etc.
Later on, a procession depicting the last days of Christ follows the trail signaled by the carpets until they reach the local church.
Bizarre Easter tradition #4: Throwing water
In Poland and Hungary, it’s tradition to throw water at others during Easter. In Poland, this ritual receives the name of Smingus-Dyngus, and it consists on boys and young men throwing water with buckets or squirt guns at other persons walking by. It’s also believed that women who are drenched will marry within a year.
In Hungary the celebration also relates to women, since it’s believed that water is linked to their fertility. The tradition is called Ducking Monday, and it involves men throwing perfumed water on girls while asking for a kiss.
Bizarre Easter tradition #3: Solving crimes
Perhaps one of the most bizarre and unique Easter traditions occurs in Norway. In this country, the Easter break is a little longer than in other European countries, and that free time is spent enjoying literature with elements like crime and puzzles. This odd preference has even spurred an entire new genre of books called Easter-Thrillers or Påskekrimmen.
Other industries have also jumped on the Easter-Thriller mania, with newspapers and even milk and cereal cartons showing murder and crime short stories on them.
Bizarre Easter tradition #2: Decorating everything with Easter eggs
You might know by now that Easter eggs are a tradition imported from Europe. What you might not know is how seriously some of the countries take their Easter eggs in that continent. Places like Switzerland, for example, are known for decorating places with water –such as fountains and wells- with long garlands which include Easter eggs and colorful bows.
In places like Germany, they take the tradition a little bit further by decorating entire trees, hanging Easter eggs on all the branches.
Bizarre Easter tradition #1: Whipping
The most bizarre of Easter traditions will probably upset many women, so make sure you’re careful if you’re visiting the Czech Republic or Slovakia during Easter. In this countries, men create handmade whips with willow branches and decorate them with ribbons. Then, they take them to the street and playfully spank or whip women who walk by in order to transfer the tree’s fertility into them.
The ritual isn’t meant to cause any pain, although it might seem quite inappropriate, and it’s believed to symbolize youth and beauty for the spring season.
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