A Look at Easter Celebrations Around the World

A Look at Easter Celebrations Around the World

With Easter comes a new resurrection, a new hope, and a new meaning to life. It is the fulfillment of the promise of Christ of destroying the body and raising it within three days. This article takes a look at the Easter customs and traditions celebrated around the world.
CelebrationJoy Staff
Last Updated: Jan 29, 2018
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
―John 3:16 (ESV)
While Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, it is considered to be a mere preparation for Easter. Easter being the celebration of the resurrection, it is considered to be the principal feast of the church. While the birth of Christ brings joy, His death on the cross brings salvation, while His resurrection brings hope and a promise of eternal life.

Easter is the culmination of the Holy week of prayer, fasting, and penance. Easter is not so much about the Easter eggs, bunnies, and goodies as it is about the Resurrection of Christ marking a whole new beginning for the Church.

Celebrated around the world with great fanfare and religious fervor, Easter is a time of celebration and feasting along with many traditional games and customs.
Holy Week Through Easter: The World In Pictures
Cyprus
The Great Fire in Cyprus
It is customary for people to light great fires in Cyprus, to burn a small doll representing Judas Iscariot.
Germany
Easter Fountain in Germany
The Osterbrunnen is a German tradition of decorating public wells or fountains with Easter eggs for Easter.
Did You Know ?
Tree Decoration in Germany
A German tradition of decorating trees and bushes with Easter eggs is known as the Ostereierbaum.
Nerja, Spain
Easter In Spain
Penitents wearing long pointed hoods during a Holy Week procession in Nerja, Spain.
Madrid, Spain
Religious Celebrations Of Easter Week Spain
A solemn Nazarene procession during Holy Week in Madrid.
New York, America
Easter Bonnet Parade
Revelers gather in their holiday finery during the annual Easter Bonnet Parade in New York City.
Jerusalem, Israel
Celebrate Easter Rite Of Holy Fire In Jerusa
Palestinian Christians march with candles and crosses during the Easter Holy Fire ritual in the Old City of Jerusalem.
St. Peter's Square, Vatican City
Easter Celebration At St Peters Square
A general view of St. Peter's Square is shown during Easter Sunday Mass in Vatican City.
Vienna, Austria
Colorful Painted Easter Eggs
Every year, at Easter time is a traditional old Easter market in the city center of Vienna.
Australia
Christian churches celebrate the festival by decorating churches with flowers on Easter Sunday. It is customary for children to receive Easter eggs from the Easter Bilby on Easter morning. The Sydney Royal Easter Show held at the Sydney Olympic Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions around this time of the year. Besides, performers and audience travel long distances to attend music festivals in and around Australia.
Cyprus
Easter is the most important religious holiday in the Greek Orthodox Church, and it is customary to burn an effigy of Judas Iscariot on Easter Sunday. Young boys take special interest in gathering wood for the great fire. The game of egg tapping, symbolic of Christ breaking free from the tomb, is held on Sunday.
Czech Republic and Slovakia
The Czechs and the Slovaks follow a tradition of playfully spanking or whipping young women on Easter Monday. A special handmade whip called a pomlázka and korbáč in Czech and Slovak, respectively is used to spank women without inflicting pain or suffering. The following day, women take their revenge by pouring cold water on any man. The city folk, however, are content sprinkling scented water on young girls and women. Similar traditions are followed in Hungary on Easter Monday.
United Kingdom
Saturday is traditionally spent painting, decorating, and hiding Easter eggs all over the house and garden. Christians attend special services on Easter Sunday followed by the customary game of egg rolling. Besides, people partake in egg hunts, exchanging Easter eggs, and performing the Morris dance.
Italy
Solemn processions precede the Easter celebration here in Italy. In Florence, Easter is celebrated with the Scoppio del Carro or the explosion of the cart held at Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, which is followed by a parade. The major attractions in Rome are the Easter mass celebrated by the Pope at St. Peter's Basilica. In Sardinia, an evocative ritual called Lunisanti is held on Holy Monday, during the holy week preceding Easter. A joyous procession is held on Easter Sunday, marking the reunion of Jesus with his mother during his resurrection and is called S'Incontru.
Germany
The eve of Easter Sunday sees German locals gathering around large bonfire or Easter fires. As is the tradition here in Germany, the branches of trees are decorated with Easter eggs. Besides, rolling eggs downhill is also followed in Germany. Sorbian men ride on decorated horses during the traditional Easter procession held in Bautzen.
Nordic Countries
It is a contemporary tradition to read or watch murder mysteries around Easter in Norway. Additionally, cross-country skiing, egg painting, and staying at mountain cabins are common during Easter. Stories and tales of witchcraft are a part of the Nordic Easter folk tradition.
Jerusalem
Holy week is generally a big affair in this holy city of Jerusalem. Palm Sunday that marks the entry of Jesus in Jerusalem, is observed with a palm procession from Bethphage, down the western slope of the Mount of Olives and into the Old City. Easter Vigil service is held at the Basilica of the Resurrection. Orthodox Christians celebrate the Ceremony of Holy Fire on the Saturday after Christ's death. Sunrise services are also held at the Garden Tomb.
Spain
Easter in Spain takes on a special meaning; the celebrations have been deep-rooted in popular imagination and linked with art. Men dressed as Nazarenes or penitents with large, pointed hoods covering their faces take part in solemn processions to the beat of a single drum. Celebrations end on Easter Monday or Lunes de Pascua with joyous music, decorated floats, and people dancing on the streets.
USA
It is a day for Americans to dress up in their Sunday best and head to church on Easter Sunday. Besides, it is also a day to indulge in candy and chocolate. The White House opens its lawn to kids to indulge in the customary Easter egg rolling. The Easter Bonnet parade held in New York has been one of the main cultural expressions of Easter in the United States.
Philippines
The Philippines begin with the dawn ceremony called Salubong―meeting―that commemorates the reunion of the Resurrected Christ with his mother. Prior to this service, the black veil covering Virgin Mary is dramatically removed by a girl dressed as an angel. Statues of the Risen Christ and Virgin Mary are borne in separate processions that culminate at Galilea.
Easter Observances around the Globe
Belarus: Churches hold processions around the church on Easter Sunday.
Brazil: Brazilians spend the long weekend attending religious processions, rituals, plays, and of course, mass.
Corfu, Greece: People throw pots, pans, and earthenware out of their windows on the morning of Holy Saturday on this Greek island.
Vienna, Austria: The Old Vienna Easter Market at the Freyung, a beautiful old square in the Old City, piles up the largest mountain of Easter eggs in Europe every year.
Malta: A procession with the statue of the Risen Christ is carried out amidst festive tunes.