Easter Traditions Around the World
What are your plans for the Easter holidays? Maybe you’re just looking forward to some well-deserved rest and relaxation and spending quality time with friends and family.
Or are you one of the 4.6 million Australians planning to take advantage of the long weekend to travel?
April is one of the most popular months for booking our trips, and there’s still time to book a last-minute getaway. Whether you’re looking for an exotic adventure or a peaceful escape, you’re sure to find a destination that ticks all the boxes.
But if you’re staying at home this Easter, let us take you on a virtual journey around the world. Easter symbolises rebirth, renewal, and new beginnings for many cultures, and each country celebrates the occasion in its own unique way. We’ve done our research to find some of the most interesting Easter traditions and spectacular Easter festivals from around the world.
1. Semana Santa, Spain
Spain is known for its elaborate Holy Week processions, which take place in cities and towns throughout the country. These processions feature participants dressed in robes and carrying candles and statues of religious figures.
Some of the most famous processions occur in Seville, where they are known for their elaborate floats and marching bands. The processions begin in the week leading up to Easter Sunday, with the biggest and most important taking place in the early hours of Good Friday.
This celebration is also held in Antigua, Guatemala, which hosts one of the world’s largest Easter processions with its unique Latin American flavour.
2. Kite Flying Festival: Burmuda
The traditional Bermuda Kite Flying Festival is held every Good Friday on the picturesque Horseshoe Bay Beach. Here, locals and visitors alike gather to marvel at the colourful kites of all shapes and sizes filling the sky.
As the story goes, a teacher started the tradition by flying a kite to explain to his students the story of Jesus ascending to Heaven. The festival is now a fun-filled family event with plenty of food (codfish cakes and hot cross buns are traditional Bermudian foods at Easter) that attracts visitors from all over the world.
3. Påskris: Sweden
You probably decorate a tree for Christmas, but do you have an Easter tree? In Sweden, decorating a decorated birch tree known as a “Påskris” for Easter is traditional. This custom dates back to the late 19th century.
The Påskris is usually decorated with brightly coloured feathers, painted eggs, and other spring-themed decorations. Children in Sweden also dress up as witches for Easter and go house-to-house collecting sweets.
4. Easter Balloons: Leonido, Greece
As a predominantly Orthodox Christian country, Easter is one of the most important holidays in Greece, and it’s celebrated with enthusiasm. Each island and town celebrates Easter in its own way, but one of the most spectacular is in the town of Leonido in the Peloponnese region.
On the night of the Resurrection, the sky is filled with thousands of brightly coloured hot-air balloons made from paper with an oil-soaked wick. As the sun sets, thousands gather to launch their balloons, and the night is rounded off with a spectacular fireworks display.
5. Śmigus-dyngus: Poland
On Easter Monday, “Śmigus-dyngus” or “Wet Monday” is celebrated in Poland. This tradition involves the boys of the town chasing the girls and dousing them with water, although, in more recent years, it’s become a free-for-all with people of all ages and genders getting in on the fun.
Water pistols, water balloons, and plain-old buckets of water are the weapons of choice, and fire trucks have even been known to make an appearance, shooting huge streams of water into the crowd.
On Palm Sunday, Poles also dress in traditional costumes and parade through town carrying palm fronds, another Easter tradition.
Celebrate Easter Your Way
No matter where you come from or what religion you follow, Easter is a time of celebration and renewal that we can all appreciate and enjoy.
And when it comes to travel, Easter is the perfect time to explore somewhere new. So why not have a browse through our destinations and start planning today?
Wherever you are this April, have a happy and relaxing Easter holiday!