The Easter egg hunt is a Easter tradition that originated with pagan spring festivals that celebrated fertility. Like many pagan traditions, Christians intertwined the practice with religious significance. Easter egg hunts feature eggs hidden by the mythical Easter bunny, which may contain candy or other prizes.
Easter Tradition Around The World:
BERMUDA: Bermudians celebrate Good Friday by flying home-made kites, eating codfish cakes, and eating hot cross buns. According to Bermuda-Online.org, the tradition is said to have begun when a local teacher from the British Army had difficulty explaining Christ’s ascension to Heaven to his Sunday school class. He made a kite, traditionally shaped like a cross, to illustrate the Ascension. The Easter traditional Bermuda kites are made with colorful tissue paper, long tails, wood, metal, and string.
NORWAY: Norwegians have an interesting tradition for the season known for “Easter-Crime” or Paaskekrim. At this time of year, many around the country read mystery books or watch the televised crime detective series on national television, according to The Norway Post. Many families escape up to the mountains for the vacation week beginning the Friday before Palm Sunday and ending the Tuesday after Easter Tradition Monday. When spending time in a ski cabin in the mountains, a popular past time is playing Yahtzee, according to About.com. The image below shows Norwegian mystery novels in display during the Easter holiday.
EUROPE: In parts of Northwestern Europe large bonfires, called Easter Fires, are lit on Easter Sunday and Monday. While there are various explanations for the origin of the Easter Fires, the most common Saxon tale is that Easter Tradition is a time when spring becomes victorious over winter and the fires were to chase the darkness of winter away. Today, however, the meaning of the fires is simply to bring communities together. The nights are festive with heavy consumption of gin, lager, and snacks.
SWEDEN: A mainly secular holiday in the Lutheran country of Sweden, Easter traditions is celebrated with meals of eggs, herring, and Jansson’s Temptation (potato, onion and pickled sardines baked in cream). The most interesting tradition to come out of Sweden is that in the days leading up to Easter Sunday, children dress up as Easter witches, wearing old and discarded clothes, according to
HAITI: In Haiti, Holy Week is marked by colorful parades and traditional “rara” music played on bamboo trumpets, maracas, drums, even coffee cans. According to About.com, the holiday is a mixture of Catholic and Voodoo traditions. Voodoo believers make an annual pilgrimage to the village of Souvenance. In the photo below devout voodoo believers hold a goat head and other parts, as offerings to the spirits, during a ceremony in Souvenance village, Haiti. Showing devotion to the spirits, the celebration is marked by drumming, chanting and animal sacrifices.
While Bermuda is busy perfecting it’s ability to make the most extravagant one-time-use only kites, the people of Florence, Italy are hard at work making Rube Goldberg machines of explosive terror to celebrate Easter tradition with. All good Goldberg machines need some epic origin story, so obviously the one in Florence is started with a holy fire using shards of flint from Christ’s supposed burial place, the Holy Sepulchre, as a match.
The holy fire is then placed on a candle, which is dragged through the city on a massive cart that stands over thirty feet tall and has been in use for well over three hundred years. After it reaches it’s destination, the fire is then carried to the cathedral square by clerics and city officials while the cart is loaded with fireworks. When everything is ready, a fuse is placed on the high alter inside the cathedral with a fake dove tied to the end.
Finally we’re getting to the real meaning of Easter: murder. In Norway, it is Easter tradition to sit down with your family and read or watch murder mysteries together, so you can all try to figure out who the killer was together as a family. It has become such a big thing that many large companies actually go out of their way to prepare for the Easter massacre that the country’s citizens all hope for.
Most major television stations in Norway actually change their schedules so that they only show murder mysteries on Easter. Publishing companies will seek out novels about murder mysteries and actually postpone their release just so they can have them ready for Easter tradition. Milk companies even have special cartons made so people can read mini murder mysteries off of their milk labels in the week leading up to Easter.
An egg-citing event for children that includes treat stations throughout the park, children’s activities, popular animal egg hunts and visits with the Easter Bunny.
Back by popular demand, Search for the Golden Eggs!
There will be four “Golden Eggs” hidden around the Zoo. If you find one turn it in at the Welcome Center for one of four great prizes!
An egg hunt is a game during which decorated eggs or Easter eggs are hidden for children to find. Real hard-boiled eggs, which are typically dyed or painted, artificial eggs made of plastic filled with or chocolate candies, or foil-wrapped egg-shaped chocolates of various sizes are hidden in various places. The game is often played outdoors, but it can also be played indoors. The children typically collect the eggs in a basket. When the hunt is over, prizes may be given out for various achievements, such as the largest number of eggs collected, for the largest or smallest egg, for the most eggs of a specific color, consolation prizes or booby prizes. Real eggs may further be used in egg tapping contests. If eggs filled with confetti left from Mardi Gras (cascarones) are used, then an egg fight may follow. Eggs are placed with varying degree of concealment, to accommodate children of varying ages and development levels. In South German folk traditions it was customary to add extra obstacles to the game by placing them into hard-to reach places among nettles or thorns.
Easter Sunday or Easter Day is the most important day of the year for Christians. It is when they celebrate that three days after being killed, Jesus rose from the dead, sometimes called ‘the Resurrection’ and defeated evil forever. You can read more about Jesus coming alive again in the Story Section.
A lot of Churches start the Easter Sunday celebrations at Midnight on Easter Tradition Eve. Candles are used in churches all over the world to start the Easter Day Midnight celebrations. Candles help Christians to remember that Jesus is the light of the world and that when he rose to life on Easter Day he got rid of the darkness of evil.
In some churches, the service starts in darkness. Then twelve candles are lit and these are taken round the rest of the church lighting the other candles. When a candle is lit the Priest says ‘Christ is Risen!’ and the congregation respond ‘He is Risen Indeed!’. In Greece, fireworks are sometimes used to start the service.
Churches are filled with flowers on Easter Day. These represent new life. Priests wear their best, brightest robes in celebration. If a Church has a model of a tomb in it from Good Friday, it will be empty with the stone rolled away, as it was on the first Easter Day.
Easter Day is the end of Lent and means the end of some people’s fasting.
In Italy, the Pope holds a very large Mass or Communion service in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican City. Thousands of people from all over the world go to it to celebrate Easter Day.
Easter Eggs are normally given out on Easter Day. I like the little solid chocolate ones!
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