Seven strange Easter traditions around the world

  • Painted egg championship in Romania.
  • Trick or treat in Sweden.
  • Colored egg trees in Germany.
  • Bonfires and Mämmi in Finland.
  • The Salvadoran devils.
  • Self-crucifixion in the Philippines.
  • Hooded men in Spain.

1 IN ROMANIA

 Romanians usually celebrate Easter with their family. If you ever happen to be invited to an Easter lunch in Romania, it can remind you of Thanksgiving in America. The traditional menu consists of 4 or 5 dishes and normally includes a sour soup called “ciorba”, salad, pickles, baked lamb, a pie made of lamb liver meat and a lot of parsley, called “drob” and finally many painted eggs.

2 IN SWEDEN 

In Sweden, children dress up as påskkärringar (Easter witches): they paint their faces, carry a broom, and go knocking on their neighbors’ doors to fill their bags with sweets and chocolate, a bit like children do. North American children for Halloween. At Easter, Swedes decorate their homes with willow or birch branches and eat a smörgåsbord, a kind of buffet consisting of various dishes such as herring, salmon, potatoes, eggs, meatballs, sausages.

 3 IN GERMANY 

The Germans decorate their trees with colored eggs giving life to real Easter plants, or “Osterstrauch”, which fill the streets and gardens with colors, announcing the arrival of spring.

 4 IN FINLAND 

The Finns believe that evil spirits roam freely on the Saturday before Easter, so during the day they light big bonfires and dress up as witches; on Sundays, however, the children go in search of the chocolate eggs that parents and family members have hidden around the house (the gardens are still covered in snow…).

5 IN SALVADOR 

In the locality of Texistepeque, in Salvador, the “talcigüines” are a strange tradition that interprets the most rigorous Catholic rites, revisited according to indigenous pagan influences. Men disguised as devils, called precisely “talcigüines”, walk the streets of the city frustrating all the spectators they meet on their way. This battle symbolizes the struggle that Jesus wages against temptation.

 6 IN THE PHILIPPINES 

In the Philippines, Easter week is celebrated with processions through the streets of the cities and a traditional representation called Sinakulo. During the processions, some devotees flag themselves and crucify themselves, a unique way to share Christ’s pain. On Sundays, believers bring palm leaves to church to be blessed, the same leaves they will later use to decorate their homes.

7 IN SPAIN 

In many cities in Spain and especially in Andalusia, brotherhoods organize processions and theatrical performances that bring to life the stations of the Way of the Cross of Christ. Participants wear penitential robes, pointed hoods and hide their faces behind a mask. Usually these are grand and solemn events, which attract many visitors. The most famous festival is that of the “Semana Santa” in Seville.

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Serena Grasso

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