In pictures: Easter traditions from across the globe
Thursday 05 April 2012
As Easter draws closer, here are some of the globe's best Easter traditions, compiled by us and Vyke mobile users around the world. From water-fights in Poland to beautiful hand-painted eggs in Germany to Australia's Easter bilby, Easter is certainly an exciting festival across nations.
Keeping up the tradition of hand-painting Easter eggs, a Slavic minority in Germany decorate eggs sold in the centre of the small Sorbian community in Schleife. 600 eggs were decorated for the annual Easter market on March 24 this year. They are beautifully painted with their own family designs, using melted wax and feathers.
Known as śmigus-dyngus, Easter in Poland involves more than just eggs as those celebrating have water fights each year on Easter Monday. The tradition originally began as a way of young men sprinkling perfumed water on the girl he was interested in but now anyone can get a good soaking.
No Easter bunny for the Australians, they have the Easter bilby! The unique Australian animal is an endangered species and Frank Manthey, co-founder of Save the Bilby Fund, is calling for Australians to embrace the bilby instead of the bunny. More information about them can be found at savethebilbyfund.com.
With a cross on top symbolising the crucifixion of Jesus, hot cross buns are traditional fare for the perfect UK Easter. With dried fruits and spices, they deliver meaning and tastiness with one bite. Today, they mean just as much as the chocolate Easter egg to us all, though children probably still prefer chocolate!
Like Australia, Easter bunnies can't be found in Sweden but the Easter hare can, making children happy with its Swiss chocolate delight. Sweden's apparently not the only country with the hare as Germany also has the larger animal.
In Mexico, there are more than just hares with the annual week-long celebration, La Judea, which celebrates Semana Santa (Holy Week). The Easter festivity takes place in mountainous Sierra del Nayar where the Cora Indians, having painted their semi-naked bodies red, have fighting ritual battles and dance.
In Ireland, Easter is celebrated with the closure of public houses and the country eats fish instead of meat on Holy Friday. Although criticised by some businesses for economic reasons, the religious festival is observed nonetheless as Christmas is.
Every year, children and their parents come out in search of Easter eggs in parks across the United States. Thousands of eggs await their finder and it is believed the common Easter egg hunt is believed originated in The Land of the Free.
For the French, it's not the Easter bunny who brings the chocolate eggs but the ringing of the Easter Bells on Easter Sunday morning. The long-standing tradition keeps the magic of the holy festival alive for the young ones.
The Descent of the Angel is a traditional ceremony in Ecuador to celebrate Easter. The popular celebration brings together the indigenous people and is believed to have begun in the Middle Ages.
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