Easter celebration around the world
Easter is a celebration dear to Christians, as it enacts redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While Nigerians celebrate today, it is instructive to know how Christians in other parts of the world have infused new traditions attached to the celebration of Easter, and we have highlighted some of these celebrations.
Easter in Sweden sounds a lot like Halloween with the children dressing up as Easter witches wearing long skirts, colourful headscarves and painted red cheeks. These children and go from home to home in their neighbourhoods trading paintings and drawings in the hope of receiving sweets. What’s a celebration if there is no give and take?
One of the biggest Easter celebrations takes place in Seville, where 52 different religious brotherhoods parade through the streets manifesting the crucifixion, with thousands watching the daily processions of marching bands and decorated candlelight floats heaving with Baroque statues illustrating the Easter story.
In the town of Haux, a giant omelette made with 4,500 eggs that feed 1,000 people is served up in the town’s main square. The story behind this tradition goes thus; when Napoleon and his army were travelling through the south of France, they stopped in a small town and ate omelettes.
Napoleon liked his omelette so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelette for his army the next day.
Although Christians constitute a meagre 3% of the total population in India, the festive spirit of Easter is no less despite being multi-ethnic. The country respects and honours every religion and celebrates Easter with the same religious solemnization as any other festival. A springtime festival, the celebrations start with Lent and end with Easter Sunday.
On Shrove Tuesday, Simnel cakes and pancake cakes are prepared. Christians attend church services to admit their sins and ask for forgiveness. The root of Easter celebrations in India was laid during British rule and progressed much during the Portuguese and French possession. While the whole country basks in the glory of the festival, cities like Mumbai, Goa and the Northeastern states celebrate it in their own best way with carnivals, complete with street plays, songs, and dances. People exchange chocolates, flowers, and colourful lanterns as gifts.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrates Easter or Fasika one or two weeks after churches in the West, and it is considered to be more important than Christmas. After a 56-day fast that includes following a predominantly vegan diet, no meat or dairy products, families dress in white and gather for a gastronomical affair where they enjoy ‘Doro wot’ (spicy chicken stew), Injera (flat-bread) and honey wine.
On Good Friday, the shores and skies of Horseshoe Bay Beach filled with bright colours because of the Bermuda Kite Festival. The story is that the kites are a celebration of the ascent of Christ. Bermudians also celebrate the Easter festival with fish cakes.
Like many other countries in Europe, Easter denotes the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, and it also coincides with the coming of spring. In Germany, they decorate trees with embellished Easter eggs called Ostereierbaum or Easter Egg Trees. It’s also a custom in Austria, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Moravia and the Czech Republic.