Easter in England is usually an excuse to eat 45 mini eggs at breakfast, don the lovely crayon-adorned straw hat that has come out of nursery, and coo at lambs and daffodils to the dulcet tones of “Christ the Lord is risen to-da-ay…”
Well it’s not the same world-over. Here’s our pick of the festivities from other cultures:
ONE | Crime Weekend in Norway
Oxymoronic as it sounds, "Easter Crime" has nothing to do with Judas. Or anything remotely Christian. It's the bizarre Norwegian tradition of diving into a crime novel, or binging TV murder mysteries over Easter. Norway takes a whole week off and people across the country hunker down in mountain cabins, to quench their seasonal thirst for bloody murder, washed down with milk from cartons covered in crime cartoons. The major television stations in Norway even change their schedules so they only show murder mysteries on the day Easter falls. Extraordinary.
TWO | Door-to-Door Eggs in Denmark
The Danes (and Swedes and Finns) seem to have confused Halloween with Easter Egg Hunts. Their kids dress up as witches and warlocks and go door-to-door seeking sweets and chocolate in return for a decorated willow branch. This is before they fly to a German mountain and cavort with the devil. As you do.
THREE | Watering Women in Hungary
They call it ‘Sprinkling’ in Hungary, but it looks more like soaking to us. It's the tradition of Hungarian women dressing up in traditional clothing on Easter Sunday and being drenched by men. It has roots in pagan traditions associated with fertility and cleansing rituals. The splashers are rewarded with Easter eggs for their hard work.... we're not totally convinced by this one! Some "sprinklers" have marginally improved things by replacing water with perfume, but the jury's still out over here.
FOUR | Kite Flying in Bermuda
This is more like it! Started as a local Sunday school teacher's visual demonstration of Jesus's ascension into Heaven, Bermudians head to the beach on Good Friday to fly beautiful handmade kites. They'll spend weeks lovingly designing and making them in the run up to Easter, and launch them at the Kite Festival. Then dotted along the beach below the kites are reggae bands, gospel groups and Best Fish Cake competitions. Get me some of that Bermudan Easter.... sounds dreamy.