Easter holiday colors the entire Christian world into bright, vivid colors, announces the arrival of Spring, brings hope and light. Even though Easter is considered a family holiday, many families prefer to spend it abroad, get to know traditions and customs of other nations, and take part in Easter observances. We have compiled a list of countries, where Easter traditions are so amazingly beautiful, bright, and of course different. Travel with us, let’s start.
Brazil, Rio De Janeiro
Brazilians are masters of celebrations and Easter is no exception. In Brazil, the holy week starts the Easter observances and marks the resurrection of Christ and the end of the lent. Easter is one of the most important holidays in Brazil, as Brazil hosts one of the largest Catholic populations in the world.
The holy week starts with the waving of palm branches in the shape of crosses, letters and other various objects, and continues to Lava-pés – Washing of the Feet, Good Friday, The descent of the Cross, Canto da Verônica, a very important passage. The holy week is finished up with Festive Easter Sunday Procession and Mass.
The whole nation celebrates, visits church ceremonies, stays at home with friends and family or takes part in Easter processions. Traditional Easter food includes salt cod- bacalhau, pacoca, a sweet dish made from ground peanuts, and Easter chocolate eggs. The spirit of Easter hovers over this magical land, where extreme religiosity and love for wildest carnival shows go hand in hand.
Easter celebration is a wonderful reason to choose Corfu as Easter holiday destination. Being the most important time of the year, Easter holiday is celebrated with unbelievable splendor. During the holy week, the Greek celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, starting from Palm Monday. This is a family day when people gather to make cakes from almond and honey. On Good Friday, in the morning the island is filled with the ringing of the town’s church bells, and several hours later the Easter processions begin.
The statues of Virgin Mary and St. Spiridon are borne along the streets by the heads of the church, other clergymen, town officials, music bands and most of the population of the city. When at 11:00 am the resurrection of Christ is announced, the crowd begins shouting Christós Anésti, which means Christ has risen, and just at that time people from the balconies drop down clay pots. If you are planning to be in Corfu at that time, be sure to keep a safe distance. The sound of the smashing of pots adds up to the tolling of bells and crowds shouts and makes an extraordinary, joyous atmosphere to be long remembered.
At midnight, the resurrection mass gathers the faithful at one of the squares of the town, Pano Platia, and the night sky is lit up with the light of thousands of candles.
Easter Sunday is a family reunion day, it is the time to gather, and have various previously prepared Easter dishes.
Washington D.C., USA
Have you ever heard of White House Easter Egg Roll? No? If your children are 12 years old and under, book the tickets, which are given out as lottery and if you are lucky, you will take part in fun activities which are held on the South Lawn of the White House from 8 am to 9 pm.
The tradition of Easter Egg Roll started its history from 1878 when President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife opened the South Lawn for children and their families and founded one of the oldest annual traditions in US history. Ester activities once included egg croquet, picking of eggs, egg ball, toss and catch, which are no longer popular now, but egg rolling is still one of the most important activity. On this very colorful day families enjoy playing with a huge Easter Bunny, storytelling, Easter egg hunt, musical events and egg-decorating. In the end, each participant is presented with a special wooden egg with the signatures of the president and first lady.
According to legend, a teacher in Bermuda used a kite to demonstrate the students the resurrection of Christ, and since then, on Good Friday, thousands of colorful kites float in the sky of Bermuda. Kite competitions are usual for this holiday; there is even a category for the ugliest kite.
Thousands of families gather on the Horseshoe Bay Beach to take part in kite competition, colorful activities and enjoy music. The island is decorated with Easter lilies, a flower most often associated with Bermuda. On Easter Sunday, Bermudians and island visitors attend sunrise services iconic St. Peter’s Church in the town of George. St. Peter’s Church the oldest Anglican church, and is listed as UNESCO world heritage site.
After church service, families gather for Easter brunch and enjoy codfish cakes and hot cross buns.
Easter is a favorite celebration throughout Europe, and Seville is one of the best European Easter destinations. Easter in Spain lasts for a whole week – Semana Santa. The whole country is transformed into a religious festive party, with streets full of locals and tourists. This solemn holiday in Seville stands out for its spectacular processions. The statues of Virgin Mary and Jesus are carried on floats, decorated with hundreds of candles, flowers, jewels, accompanied with The Nazarenos – the members of the cofradías, under the sounds of brass music. Black-dressed women, called penitents, follow the floats and carry a long candle and rosary beads.
Seville’s 60 brotherhoods and their 2000 members thoroughly prepare for this grand holiday, and the visitors will, by all means, get the holiday vibes. Many people avoid visiting Seville at this time of the year for security reasons, but if you know how to get prepared, you will just enjoy the splendor of rituals and Easter traditions coming from the 14th century.
Tips: Carefully study the schedule of processions and have connected mobile phone preferably with the active internet, to use navigation, so as to feel safe and secure.