Easter Traditions Around the World - Egglo Entertainment

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Easter Traditions Around the World

As Easter is the most important religious holiday for Christians, there is some variance in how Easter is observed. Here are some interesting features of Easter traditions seen around the world; some familiar, some new, but all special and unifying celebrations for our Lord Jesus Christ.

North America

Many of us participate in decorating eggs and arranging the egg hunts, but a fun tradition especially popular in Louisiana is egg knocking. This game is a remnant of the heavy French influence and is popular in Cajun communities throughout Southern Louisiana. Marksville, LA boasts the oldest egg-knocking competition in the United States. Two contestants at a time knock their eggs together until one of them cracks. The winner goes on to compete against the next contestant, and this continues until there is one egg standing.

South America

In Brazil, we find one of the most festive celebrations in preparation for Lent and Easter. Rio de Janeiro is home to the world-famous Carnival, whose origins date back to 1723. This festival is held just prior to Lent, the forty days of solemnity and austerity practiced before Easter. The Carnival festivals and parades indulge in song and dance, and host important competitions among numerous samba schools.


Bermuda keeps a tradition of flying beautiful kites made specifically for Easter. Typically, they are hexagonal or octagonal in shape with colorful concentric ring patterns, and are flown to symbolize Christ’s resurrection. Bermuda also enjoys hot cross buns, Easter eggs, and fish cakes for their celebrations.

Jamaica also welcomes Easter with hot cross buns, but they have a distinct flavoring. Though British colonizers originally introduced the buns, Jamaicans adapted it using molasses instead of honey, adding spices, and most notably, are eaten with cheese.


The church bells play an important part in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. They are silent one to three days before Easter, as a somber observance of Jesus’ crucifixion. This has led to a colloquial explanation that the church bells have flown off to Rome until Easter morning, when they are back and ringing in full force.

France holds similar traditions of children hunting for chocolate eggs. However, the bells are said to drop chocolates on Easter Sunday for children to find in the garden. Hens, roosters, chicks, bunnies and bells are all common chocolate shapes for the Easter goodies. Many families will convene at an Easter lunch where lamb is often served.

In Greece, most Easter celebrations are extremely traditional, but the island of Corfu has a unique practice on Holy Saturday. At 11 a.m., the residents in the city’s center stand atop their balconies and throw clay pots filled with water (“botides”) into the streets. This custom is actually attributed to the Venetians who would throw old pots and other household items from their windows to welcome the New Year. The Corfiots adopted this tradition and reserved it for Easter, their most important holiday.

Eastern Europe

Russians typically hold a late night mass, and then gather at a family or friend’s house for a good meal, and the exchange of Easter eggs. Willow branches are used to tap people on the shoulders, a cultural tradition that is supposed to bestow one with good luck.

In Ukraine, elaborately decorated eggs called Pysanka are prominent in Easter celebrations. Pysanka refers to the distinctive method of decorating eggs, which involves using wax to “write” on the eggs. When the eggs are colored, the dye does not penetrate the wax, and leaves in place a beautiful design. The patterns and method used for this are referred to as batik, or wax-resist dyeing, and are typically traditional or folk designs. Batik is often associated with Indonesian, Philippine, Malay or Indian cultures, but it is actually a widespread technique among many regions. Other Eastern European countries, such as Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Hungary for example, also use the batik for decorating their eggs.


In Christian parts of India, Easter is also welcomed with wonderful festivities. They also observe the Lenten season, ending with Easter celebrations. Indians themselves do not decorate Easter eggs, but stores do offer pre-decorated ones for families to buy and give as presents to their children. Easter bunny figures are also sold in stores, and other gifts are also exchanged during this time.

The people of Goa, India also partake in dancing, songs, and plays for Easter. Festivals and tasty cakes are part of the occasion, and an exchange of colorful lanterns and Holy Crosses. Of course, gathering the family for delicious feasts is an important part of the celebrations.

The Philippines has strong religious Easter traditions, beginning with their Lenten season, through Holy Week, and culminating on Easter Sunday. Religious plays, processions, church pilgrimages, and chanting Christ’s passions are all common during the Holy Week. An Easter Vigil, which is much longer than a regular church mass, is held on Black Saturday. The ‘black’ is symbolic of death and mourning, and refers to the time when Jesus lay in his tomb. Easter Sunday begins before dawn with two life-sized statues, one of the Risen Christ and one of the Sorrowful Mother, which lead two separate processions to the church for morning mass. A little girl from the community is chosen as an “angel” to lift a black veil from Mary’s head. After church mass, the mood is lifted and it is time for much joyous celebrating and feasting in the homes of friends, family, and neighbors. In more metropolitan areas, Easter bunnies and egg hunts have also become a part of Easter celebrations, but overall, Filipinos are typically very traditional with their Easter practices.


In more recent years for the Land Down Under, the Easter Bilby has helped spread Easter joy to young girls and boys. The bilby is a small marsupial which also has long ears. The Easter Bilby still delivers eggs as our Easter Bunny does. It is a modern adaptation, originally appearing in the late 1960s, but gaining momentum in the 1990s as a campaign to bring awareness to native wildlife.

However we celebrate, remember to keep the honor in Christ:

“And he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bring glory to his name.” Romans 1:4-5

Easter provides for us a time to reflect upon our spiritual journey, strengthen our commitment to faith, but also celebrate the blessings he has given us through His ultimate sacrifice. As adults, we grow into our responsibility towards our faith, but children may need an extra connection to relate. Egglo can help build those connections to Jesus’ light and truth. Our glow-in-the-dark Easter eggs are a fun novelty, but serve a greater purpose in enhancing our children’s religious education.

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