If you’re an expat celebrating Easter in a new country, you might be surprised to discover that hunting for eggs is not one of their top Easter traditions. To keep you up-to-date with what you can expect in your new country, here are 8 region-specific Easter traditions.
Easter Traditions from around the world
1. Poland: A chilly start to the day
If you’re celebrating in Poland, you’ll be surprised to discover that pouring water over each other is a Polish Easter tradition called Smingus-Dyngus. Celebrated enthusiastically by boys on Easter Monday, you need to keep your eye open or you’ll also end up as an unwilling victim of a well-aimed squirt gun.
2. Norway: Get the adrenaline flowing
In Norway, reading crime novels over Easter is such a popular tradition that publishers come out with “Easter Thrillers” call ‘Paaskekrimmen’. This tradition stems back to 1923 when a book publisher advertised their new crime novel on the front pages of newspapers and confused many locals who thought it was ‘real’ news.
3. Italy: A fiery tribute
In Rome on Good Friday, the Pope celebrates the 14 Stations of the Cross (the Via Crucis) at the Colosseum. To commemorate this, a huge cross is lit with burning torches, illuminating the sky. On Easter Sunday the Pope blesses thousands of devout visitors in St Peter’s Square.
4. Spain: A macabre message
In the town of Verges in Spain, the residents all dress in skeleton costumes and parade through the streets celebrating the ‘dansa de la mort’, the death dance. The aim of the dance is to re-enact scenes from The Passion and the entire celebration continues for three days!
5. America: Egg rolls and exercise
In Washington DC, the White House celebrates the Easter Egg Roll tradition, which is over 130 years old, on its South Lawn. Participants roll hard-boiled coloured eggs down the lawn and this year the theme’s focus is on exercise in order to encourage children to lead healthy, active lives.
6. Greece: A smashing tradition
On the island of Corfu, residents throw pots, pans and other earthenware dishes out their windows on Easter Saturday. Smashing earthenware on the streets seems to stem from an ancient Venetian tradition where people were encouraged to throw out all their old, unwanted items.
7. France: Feed 1000 people
In the town of Haux in France on Easter Monday, a giant omelette is created using over 4 500 eggs which feed up to 1000 people. The tradition stems from the story that Napoleon’s army stopped in the small town and were fed omelettes. Napoleon approved of his omelette so much he ordered the town to make him and his army a giant one the following day.
8. Finland: Wary of witches
In the western regions of Finland, giant bonfires are burnt on Easter Sunday to ward off witches who are supposed to fly around on brooms between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Children also carry broomsticks, blacken their faces with soot and go begging on the streets during the three days of Easter.
If you’re an expat celebrating Easter in a new country need financial advice, contact us today and we’ll help you maximise your finances in your new home.
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