Easter traditions around the world

9 April 2020

Easter traditions around the world are rather eggstraordinary. While we're familiar with some, others put the extra onto extraordinary. The Easter bunny and egg hunts seem rather boring after giving these a read.

Here's our top pick of Easter traditions around the world – from the fun and frivolous to the very quirky.

A lamb shaped blob of butter in Russia

If you've ever been in Russia over Easter, you were likely somewhat surprised and am-ewe-sed to see a blob of butter, shaped to resemble a lamb, on the table during lunch. The tradition dates back centuries. A lamb is an omen of good luck, so crafting your butter into the shape of a lamb (as best you could) may prove to be extra good luck on Easter.

Easter bilbies in Australia

In Australia, the Easter bunny doesn't have to do all the work on his own. Local chocolatiers began to create their own Easter "bunnies" but in the shape of the bilby. Bilbies are desert-dwelling marsupials that only live in Australia. Sadly, they are highly endangered, and today there are estimated to be only around 700 bilbies left in the world.

Halloween or Easter in Finland?

In Finland, you could be slightly puzzled thinking that the Finns have muddled up Easter and Halloween traditions. Come Easter, Finnish locals dress up as witches, complete with the mandatory broomstick, and light bonfires to keep away any dodgy spirits.

Tobacco decorated trees in Papua New Guinea

If you don't eat your chocolate very fast in the sultry country of Papua New Guinea, it will soon melt all over you. For that reason, locals decorate Easter trees in church with tobacco and cigarettes, and not chocolate eggs or similar.

Red eggs only in Greece

In Greece, you're unlikely to see the myriad of colourful eggs seen elsewhere in the world. Traditionally, all Easter eggs here are painted red to represent blood and life.

An eggcellent and rather large French omelette

Arrive hungry in the French town of Haux on Easter Monday. The locals make a giant omelette using over 4500 eggs in the town's main square. The huge omelette feeds over 1000 people!

Crime with a side of Easter eggs

In Norway, pick up a spinetingling Paaskekrimmen. This Norwegian word doesn't refer to delicious local chocolates, but rather crime novels that are especially published around Easter. The tradition of reading crime novels over Easter began in the 1920s and has continued since then.

Willow whips in the Czech Republic

If you're female and in the Czech Republic over Easter Monday, you may want to stay indoors. It's a local tradition for men to playfully chase women with whips made of the branches of the willow tree and decorated with ribbons.

A water-soaked Easter Monday in Poland

If it's a chilly Easter day in Poland, you wouldn't want to get caught up in the tradition of Śmigus-dyngus. On Easter Monday, the country's men drench any unlucky souls in the streets with water, thanks to a barrage of water pistols and loaded buckets. The tradition goes that any woman who gets soaked will be married within the year.

Spooky Spanish dances of the dead

Come Maundy Thursday, the day before Easter, residents in the Spanish Catalan town of Verges dress up in creepy skeleton costumes and carry 'death's sickles' as they dance around the streets.

Smash those pots in Corfu

In Corfu, Greece, residents start their Saturday morning by tossing earthenware pots, vases and other breakable items out of their windows onto the street below. One legend behind this quirky custom is that Easter signifies the start of spring. And so it's a symbolic representation of throwing out the old and starting anew.

Explosive carts in Florence

In Florence, Italy, locals celebrate Easter with the tradition of Scoppio del Carro. In short, this is a cart kitted out with decorations and artwork. The cart is pulled through the city's streets before stopping outside of the Duomo. The Archbishop of Florence then lights a fuse and the cart, packed with fireworks, lights up the sky in a colourful albeit noisy display.