The Easter Bunny, egg coloring, and peeps; these traditions are all common when celebrating Easter in America. But Easter is a holiday that is celebrated worldwide, so how do other countries celebrate Easter?
In Brazil, huge parades are planned out, the biggest being in Rio de Janeiro. These parades are filled with blocos, Brazilian street parties. Brazilians also bring flowers to Church for a blessing. The most common flower is the Macela flower. Special because it only blooms during Lent. Easter delicacies in Brazil include clipfish, Easter Ring, and the most well-known pacoca. Pacoca is a paste that is made from peanuts, sugar, and flour.
The biggest German celebration during the Lenten season is the Oberammergau Passion Play. This play is performed every 10 years and is a thank you to God for saving the village of Oberammergau back in the 17th century. On the Thursday before Easter, it is tradition for Germans to eat foods that are green. They usually prepare chervil soup on this “Green Thursday.” On Easter Sunday, children look forward to waking up to surprises from Der Osterhase, the German version of the Easter Bunny.
Easter festivities start on Thursday in Greece, when eggs are dyed red to symbolize the blood of Christ. In Greece, many traditional Easter foods are prepared. Labatha is a candy that is often given to children from their parents or godparents. Other traditional foods include koulourakia, orange sesame cookies; mayiritsa soup, consisting of rice and lamb; and tsoureki bread, which is sometimes decorated with hard boiled red dyed eggs.
Mexico is another country that celebrates the Easter season with passion plays. These plays have been going on since the early 1800’s following a cholera outbreak in Iztapalapa. On Holy Saturday, statues of the Virgin Mary are covered in black dresses to symbolize her mourning. Some parts of the country participate in the Burning of Judas, a Judas figure is filled with fireworks and set on fire in town squares. A traditional Easter dish in Mexico includes Capirotada, which is bread pudding. They also prepare Cascarones. These are not edible but they are prepared similar to dyeing eggs. Eggshells are hollowed and then filled with confetti.
Easter in Spain is full of art and historical culture. During this time, people can be seen wearing a capriote, a tall hat that masks the face. This represents someone who has just received penance. Women commonly can be found wearing a mantilla, a black laced veil. Valladolid is known for their pasos or floats. Because of this, Valladolid hosts one of the most elaborate parades in Spain. Traditional foods during this time include torrijas and pestiños. Torrijas is a bread snack mixed with milk, sugar, and other sweeteners. Pestiños are sesame flavored pastries glazed with honey or sugar.
Many different countries celebrate Easter. Even though the way they do it is all different, the meaning behind the holiday is the same, to celebrate Jesus’s life and resurrection.