Easter is a time for celebration in a lot of Christian countries, synonym of colorful eggs and lovely bunnies, as well as festivals of all kinds and fancy costumes, a period of Holidays which dates vary each year, beginning on the first day following the full moon. Traditionally, this feast was meant to recall the powerful Son of God resurrection, Jesus Christ.
Nowadays, many different festivities are taking place (almost) all over the world. Vietnam is not one of them for one simple reason: Christianity isn’t widely mainstreamed in Asia. That makes Vietnam a perfect place to visit during holidays, and experience an unforgettable trip to Halong Bay.
Indeed, unlike the Chinese New Year eve (February 1st), during which the entire country stop working, with unusual desert streets and 80% closed shops, Hanoi is full of life during Easter, and Halong Bay cruises tours deserve surely many beautiful and unexpected surprises…
Here are 10 places that will celebrate Easter on their own, traditional and sometimes very entertaining way!
- 1. Argentina: Tinkunaco Ceremony
Mothers and grandmothers are gathered in two lines: one line with mothers and the other one the grandmothers, around an arch made of willow branches. The arch is decorated with fruits, flowers, cheese, sweets and tiny lanterns. The two groups meet under the arch and exchange a doll, which is touched on each other’s forehead. It is said to unite the women with a bond only death can break.
- 2. Australia: Royal Easter Show
Easter is celebrated in March or April, which is autumn unlike other countries in the Northern Hemisphere (spring). In Sydney, there is an agricultural show known as “the Royal Easter Show“, which offers the best produce from all over the country: farm animals, parades, rides, fireworks, food and sideshows.
- 3. Austria: Egg-knocking Game
Green eggs are used on Holy Thursday while a modern festival is held. Every one pairs up and then chooses an egg. The two competitors defy each other, tapping their partner’s egg with their own. The first egg to crack loses; the winner then challenges other winners, until there is only one egg left.
- 4. Brazilia: Rio Carnival
In Rio de Janeiro, one of the world’s most famous carnivals is held just before Easter. Carnival means “goodbye to meat”. This is due to the fact that people don’t eat meat during Easter. Thousands of artists spend most of the year preparing for the carnival, making costumes, practicing music and dances for the parades while others make giant floats.
- 5. Britain #1: Morris Dancers
In many parts of England, dancers called “Morris dancers” perform on Easter Sunday. These dances are very old spring dances to frighten away the veil spirits of winter. They wear white shorts, red sashes, black trousers and straw hats with lots of flowers and streamers.
- 6. Britain #2: Pancake Race
It has been more than 500 years that the town Olney organizes a pancake race. During his game, everyone gathers in downtown, the racers hold frying pans with hot pancakes that are still cooking. When the word “Go!” is said, they dash to the church, flipping their pancakes as they run. They must flip their pancakes at least three times before they reach the church.
- 7. Czechoslovakia: Food From Old Times
Easter in Czechoslovakia, called Velikonoce, is an important festival with many customs, some of them dating from the pre-Christian times. A special food eaten at Easter is Mazanec, which is a yeast raised cake filled with almonds, raisins and citron.
- 8. Ethiopia: Fassika
The Ethiopian Easter festival is called Fassika. Palm Sunday or Hosaina happens the Sunday before Easter. This day marks the beginning of the Holy Week and celebrates the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. On this day, Ethiopians wear headbands of palm leaves to remind them of the palm leaves that were laid in Jesus’ path.
In France, Easter morning is a happy time for children, who are waking up to search for colorful eggs hidden in the garden by their parents. Moreover, this is the perfect time of the year for French master “chocolatiers” to display their delectable wares, with a great attention to detail, resulting in chocolate eggs that look like true artworks.
- 10. United States of America: Egg Roll
A group of people roll eggs down a steep incline, racing to see which egg gets to the bottom first. The most famous egg rolling takes place on the White House Lawn: hundreds of children come with baskets filled with brightly decorated eggs and roll them down the famous lawn, hoping the President is watching the fun.