Happy Easter! Here’s how people around the world celebrate the festival | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Happy Easter! Here’s how people around the world celebrate the festival

We tell you about the different customs observed by countries across the world on Easter.

art and culture Updated: Apr 16, 2017 09:29 IST
HT Correspondent
The people of Florence, Italy, celebrate a 350-year-old custom called scoppio del carro, meaning ‘explosion of the cart’.
The people of Florence, Italy, celebrate a 350-year-old custom called scoppio del carro, meaning ‘explosion of the cart’.(Shutterstock)

Easter also called Resurrection Sunday, is a festival which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is celebrated all over the world in different ways, according to the traditions and ethnicities of different countries.

We tell you about the different customs observed by countries around the world on Easter:

Italy

The people of Florence celebrate a 350-year-old custom called scoppio del carro, meaning ‘explosion of the cart.’ On the morning of Easter Sunday, an antique cart is transported from the Porta al Prato to the Piazza del Duomo. It is carried by white oxen, which are adorned with garlands, and the cart is accompanied by 150 soldiers, musicians, and people dressed in 15th century attire. The cart has is laden with fireworks, and when ignited the entire show lasts for around 20 minutes. A successful ‘explosion of the cart’ is considered to be auspicious for the people of the region.

Poland

A Polish Easter blessing basket. (Shutterstock)

A day before Easter, a ‘blessing basket’ is prepared by families which is stuffed with bread, sausages, decorated eggs and other food items which are then taken to the church to be blessed. According to Polish culture, Lent doesn’t end until this basket is blessed by a priest. On the day after Easter, the Polish celebrate with Smigus Dyngus. Young boys and girls play around with water guns and throw buckets of water at each other. According to a fable, girls who get drenched will get married within the year.

Australia

In Australia, instead of Easter bunnies, Bilby-related goods are sold in various stores. Bilbies are local Australian marsupials which are in danger of extinction, which is one reason why Bilbies are used so that awareness is created regarding them.

Bilbies are local Australian marsupials which are in danger of extinction. (Shutterstock)

Australia also has the Sydney Royal Easter Show, where over a period of two weeks farming communities display their crops and livestock, and city folks get to experience rural life.

France

Children in France get their treats from Easter bells and not the Easter bunny. According to Catholic traditions, church bells cannot ring between Holy Thursday and the Easter Vigil, due to the somberness observed during these days surrounding Jesus’ death.

The golden statue of Madonna blesses the world from the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral in France. (Shutterstock)

Over time there was a myth which said that the church bells grew wings and went to Rome so they could be blessed by the Pope. They would then return on Easter day with chocolate and gifts for the children.

India

Hand-painted wooden Easter eggs in India. (Shutterstock)

People gift each other with Easter eggs and Easter bunnies along with flowers and chocolate cakes. In Goa, various carnivals are held, include plays and dances.

UK

Various communities in England have Morris dancing, a customary dance which dates back to the Middle Ages. Men wear hats along with bells around their ankles, and dance through the streets waving ribbons all the way. This practice is believed to drive away the Winter spirits.

Morris dancing on Easter in England is believed to drive away the Winter spirits. (Shutterstock)

Greece

The practice of Pot Throwing in Greece signifies that new crops shall come in new pots. (Shutterstock)

On Holy Saturday locals take part in the yearly ‘Pot Throwing’, where pots, pans and other items are thrown out of the house. This practice signifies that new crops shall come in new pots.

Latin America

In many Latin American countries, locals burn effigies of Judas. (Shutterstock)

Many Latin American countries, take part in The Burning of Judas. Locals make effigies of Judas and burn them.

Spain

Verges celebrate Holy Thursday with the Dansa de la Mort (Death Dance). This procession takes place at night where those taking part dress up as skeletons and recreate reenact the life and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

A Death Dance taking place in Spain on Easter. (Shutterstock)

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