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It’s Not All About Chocolate Eggs and Bunnies: The Unique Easter Traditions Around the World

There are many ways in which people from different parts of the world celebrate Easter. While some of these Easter celebrations are more spiritual, others are all about the fun and delicacies. Learning about these interesting traditions can give you an idea or two to incorporate into this year’s celebration.


Since Easter is a Christian festivity, it’s not a surprise that the Pope oversees the celebrations in Italy. At St. Peter’s Basilica, a huge Good Friday mass is held when a large crucifix made with burning torches is raised in the night sky.

Courtesy: Country Slow Living

In Florence, Easter Sunday is celebrated with an old custom where a large antique wagon full of fireworks is set alight by a dove-shaped rocket. In other parts of Italy, religious processions are held with people dressing in ancient costumes and parading olive branches for three days. 

The Philippines

Devout Catholic Christians in the Philippines celebrate Easter more intensely, and the church has condemned some of these practices. One tradition is that Repentant Christians whip themselves with bamboo sticks attached to a rope.


On Good Friday, Catholic volunteers are nailed to the cross to reenact the agony of Jesus and also atone for their sins. People dressed as Roman centurions hammer two-inch long nails into these volunteers’ feet and palms; they are only taken down from the cross when they feel atoned for their sins. 


In Spain, Easter is celebrated for a whole week and is called Holy Week or Semana Santa. In almost every village and town across the Iberian peninsula, religious processions are held during the last week of Lent. 

Courtesy: Taylor Wimpey Spain

Accompanied by live music, people parade the streets in hooded robes, carrying religious floats illustrating different Biblical scenes. On these festive days, treats like cakes, pestiños, and torrija are popular, especially in hotspots like Seville, Zamora, and Granada.


In Germany, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are public holidays. On Holy Saturday, some communities stuff huge straw bales into a wooden wheel, set it on fire, and roll it down a hill. Other communities celebrate the Easter bonfire as mini-festivals.

Courtesy: Twitter

Another popular Easter tradition is where people decorate an Easter tree with hand-painted eggs, called the Ostereierbaum; the decorations are hung on a small household tree. On Maundy Thursday, Germans eat something green, calling it Gründonnerstag (green Thursday).

Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary

Here, there is an Easter Monday tradition that involves some ‘water activity.’ The tradition is called Wet Monday in Poland, Sprinkling in Hungary, Watering in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and Watering Monday in Ukraine. 

Courtesy: Kongres-Magazine

Men try to drench women with buckets of water to make them stay healthy and fertile for spring. In Poland, the women offer the men food and alcohol after the water fight. In Hungary, women may be doused with buckets of perfume or water- participants often wear folk costumes.

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