Easter has got strong religious roots in Christianity; however it’s also a wonderful opportunity for families to come together and for kids to have a whole lot of fun. Here we’ve rounded up the best Easter events in the world for families.
Virtuous in Argentina
In Argentina, Easter is a big event and they carry out various traditions to mark the occasion. During Holy Week they continue in the style of fasting which was introduced by Lent where they don’t eat any meat except for fish. Good Friday is a quiet day where families attend their local parishes to observe the Station of the Cross or Via Crucis, as they call it. As in most Christian denominations, the Saturday before Easter is also a quiet day to mark the mourning that is associated with the crucifixion. On Sunday, the big celebrations start!
Easter Sunday in Argentina is all about eating and sharing eggs, as well as their very special Easter cake called Rosca de Pascua. The tradition is that people don’t only share eggs with their families but with friends and colleagues too. They hold a huge barbeque and a treasure hunt for all the kids is organised in the main cities by the government, so that everyone can take part in the festivities.
Ceremonious in Lebanon
In Lebanon, Christians make up almost half of the population and it is a much celebrated event. It is a big deal here! If you’re visiting you will notice the ornately decorated streets, shops and restaurants filled with all things Easter from bunnies to chocolate, painted eggs and even live baby chicks in some places. Good Friday is marked by a mass that symbolises the crucifixion and, depending on one’s Christian denomination, can last up to three hours. Easter Sunday is a huge celebration where absolutely everyone goes to church.
After taking communion, the 40-day fast which is a strictly vegan diet, is broken with an absolute feast featuring lamb and lots of egg breaking. A custom that is particularly unique to Lebanon is Shanineh, which is held at church where candles decorated with ribbons and flowers are handed to children who form a procession and carry them around the church. Another unique celebration over Easter is the eating of sweets called Maamoul. They are little cookies made with a mixture of semolina and butter then stuffed with either dates or ground sugared nuts and dusted with icing sugar. Everyone loves them as they literally melt in your mouth.
Egg Rolling in Scotland
Easter in Scotland a really laid-back event. They do some traditional things that are associated with Easter like attending mass and having a big meal, but they also have a whole heap of fun too, specifically for the kids.
Easter fun here is all about eggs. They are first boiled and then painted in loads of different colours and designs and then off to the park hills everyone goes for egg rolling down hills. Although it just sounds like playtime for the kids, the event is actually very symbolic. It is carried out to represent the rolling away of stones on Jesus’ tomb which helped in His resurrection.
Eggy Fun in Sweden
Easter in Sweden is about fun, food and festivity. It is especially good for family breaks as many of the Easter activities involve kids.
Humour-filled celebrations start on Easter Saturday with children dressing up as good witches setting the Easter mood by giving out letters and cards in return for eggs, sweets and coins.
On Easter Sunday, food takes centre stage where, in typically Nordic fashion, the feast comprises of mostly fish. They eat different kinds of herring, a selection of smoked salmon, some roast ham and various cheeses.
Of course, the main attraction are eggs which are exchanged and later used in a game where participants roll them down roofing tiles to see which egg can go the furthest without breaking.
All Bells en France
In France, church bells ring every day of the year except for the three days of Easter. Legend has it that the reason the bells stop ringing is because they’ve made a trip to Rome in order to be blessed.
On Easter Sunday, the bells return and tour the entire country sprinkling chocolate eggs, chickens and rabbits as they go in each and every garden. After midday, kids head to the gardens to find their hidden treasures left by the blessed bells. The day of events also includes a hearty meal, normally consisting of lamb, which is the Easter dish of choice in France.
Toy Hunting in Germany
Easter Baskets are the main tradition in Germany where each child receives a basket put together by their parents, containing not only eggs and chocolate, but also toys and other gifts. The baskets are hidden in the back garden and the kids have to hunt for it after church on Easter Sunday. This is particularly popular in rural areas where houses tend to have big gardens, sometimes comprising several levels and are full of trees and bushes.
In more urban areas, families tend to go on an Easter walk and hide their Osternest, which means Easter nest, in the forest or a meadow and the kids go hunting for it during the walk. Alternatively, if the nest doesn’t appeal, some families like to hide chocolate eggs along their walk.
Chocolate and Candy in the US
Apart from dressing up in one’s Sunday best and heading off to church on Easter Sunday, Easter in the US is, unsurprisingly, ruled by candy and chocolate.
Those headed to Washington, DC can enjoy one other very famous tradition where the White House opens its lawn to kids for some Easter egg rolling. This tradition was first carried out in 1878 and has continued ever since. Other attractions on the day include a visit with the Easter Bunny and an afternoon of storytelling.
Festivities and Feasts in Canada
Food, festivals and fun in general are the things that make up Canadian Easter celebrations. Those who are religious may attend church, but even those who aren’t partake in the festivities, which include putting on Easter plays, special songs, holding spring festivals and even winter festivals to signify the start of Lent and decorate with Easter lilies and the famous bunnies. A good meal is also enjoyed with the Easter menu featuring things like apple tart, Maple Baked Beans and Cape Breton Scones. Uniquely, Canada is also home to the world’s largest pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg) located in Vegreville. The egg was made in 1975 in honour of the Ukrainian settlements in Edmonton. The egg is a symbol of life, prosperity, eternity and good fortune and is recognised the world over as an architectural masterpiece.
Do you know of any other famous Easter celebrations that we’ve missed out? If so we would love to hear from you.