Easter Traditions Around the Globe
One of the most important festivals in the Christian calendar, Easter is just around the corner and will be celebrated around the world. When it comes to specific Easter traditions, each country and region marks the holiday quite differently. From egg hunts to egg painting, rabbit footprints to Easter baskets, we spoke to Cartus colleagues around the globe, to learn about their nation’s Easter traditions… and to find out what a hot cross bun actually is!
Brazil – Caio Leal, Client Services Director and Vanessa Freitas, International Assignment Consultant
Being such a vast country, so rich in diversity, there are many Easter traditions in Brazil that vary from location to location:
- The Easter Procession – devotees walk together carrying a statue of Christ and candles in memory of Christ’s resurrection.
- Good Friday Lunch – Brazilian families gather to prepare and have lunch together. Tradition dictates that this meal should contain no red meat.
- On the morning of Easter Sunday, families place "rabbit footprints" (made of flour) around the house to let children know the Easter Bunny has delivered chocolate eggs.
U.S. – Meredith Obreiter, Senior Marketing Specialist/Graphic Designer
- Christians attend church services to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection and ascension to Heaven. These services are often at sunrise.
- Families with children often have “Easter baskets” waiting for children in the morning (purportedly brought by the “Easter Bunny”). The baskets contain items like candy, decorated hard-boiled eggs, chocolate bunnies, or small gifts. One Easter treat in the U.S., called Peeps, is made of marshmallow and is the subject of an ongoing, but lighthearted, debate around whether they are delicious or awful. I happen to LOVE them!
- Parades are somewhat common. As a child, I used to dress up for church and Easter parades. I had a special “Easter” dress that I still remember.
Singapore – Racheal Foo, Manager, Marketing - APAC
- Good Friday is a public holiday in Singapore, with Christians attending a special church service on both the Friday and Easter Sunday.
- Children indulge in Easter egg hunts and egg painting.
- Large hotels also offer special Easter menus and buffets.
UK – Louise Koncowski, Senior Communications & Content Development Specialist
- In the UK (and across Europe), Christians attend church on either Easter Saturday night or early on Easter Sunday.
- In addition to exchanging chocolate eggs with loved ones, hot cross buns are another delicious Easter treat. These doughy buns are filled with raisins, can be toasted or eaten fresh, and are often lathered in butter. Each bun has a cross on the top, which symbolizes Christ on the cross. (In my house, it is essential hot cross buns are served with a nice cup of tea!)
- Schools and nurseries may also hold Easter bonnet competitions, where children are encouraged to decorate a hat with Easter chicks and flowers. The winner usually wins a chocolate egg.
Other Easter traditions around the world include…
- Those who celebrate Easter in China treat the Christian festival like a mini Chinese New Year, complete with red paper slogans called chūnlián (春联), which are displayed on church buildings and in homes.
- A special custom amongst Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox Church around China’s Russian-influenced Heilongjiang Province includes making, painting, and decorating Easter eggs.
- In Poland, people throw water over each other on Easter Monday. A tradition that began hundreds of years ago with the baptism of a Polish prince, this day is referred to as “Wet Monday.”
- One of the main French Easter traditions is the Easter bells or les cloches de Pâques. On Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter), church bells are silenced until Easter Sunday to mourn the death of Christ. Tradition states that the bells travel to Rome for a blessing from the Pope and then return to the French churches, dropping eggs into people’s gardens along the way.
Whatever your traditions are, Cartus would like to wish you a very Happy Easter.