With the coming of Spring we get much more than just warmer weather and the smell of barbecues. Spring signifies the rebirth of nature, something that is reflected in Easter as it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. However, across the world both Easter and spring can have different connotations and so the way they are celebrated can be different. For example:
Jamaican's celebrate Easter mainly by filling up on Easter Bun and Cheese. Easter Bun is a spiced up version of the Hot Cross Buns typically eaten in the UK. Lent is also more commonly followed even by the less devout, and celebrations of carnival are also felt around the island. One older tradition that is still followed is 'egg setting', where a person drops egg yolk in a glass of water, with whatever shape the yolk forms being seen as a divination of things to come for the persons future.
Similar to Jamaica, the Irish have a long tradition of following lent, gathering as family at the end to indulge in all the treats they had withheld from. A traditional Irish dinner for Easter can consist of corned beef, potatoes, bacon and cabbage. In fact, the average Easter breakfast for an Irish man consisted of 6 eggs. At the end of the Lent, on Palm Sunday a procession is followed carrying palm branches to the alter of the church.
In France, church bells cease to ring for 3 days in remembrance of Jesus' death. A by-product of this is that the children are told the bells have been taken to Rome for blessing and on return they bring back chocolate and sweets. Thus, instead of the Easter bunny, it is the "cloches volantes" that bring chocolate eggs, with the egg hunt beginning once the bells start ringing again.
Scandinavian countries such as Finland and Sweden again have a variation on children hunting for sweets in what resembles Halloween. Dressing up as the Easter witch, Påskkärring, they go door to door handing out wards against witches in return for chocolate.
Meanwhile in Bermuda, they take to the beaches every Good Friday to fly kites, either home-made or purchased from the store. In between dipping their toes in the tide, traditional fish cakes and hot cross buns are enjoyed in this island Easter celebration.
Certain parts of eastern Europe follow Orthodox Christianity so their Easter is on a completely different date, a few weeks later. On top of that, another difference is that the eggs that are eaten are actually real as opposed to chocolate. Dyed a dark red, symbolising resurrection, they are often exchanged in a game that involves cracking each others egg to see which is the tougher nut to crack, so to speak.
As you can see, Easter celebrations can be so varied and different but also have veins of similarity running throughout. Another common thread that Easter shares throughout different cultures are that candles are always lit for the occasion. Therefore why not head over to our candle section just in time for the festivities this year.