If you grew up in America, odds are you woke up Easter morning eager to find your Easter basket and hunt for chocolate eggs. While Easter egg hunts, decorating eggs, and visiting the Easter bunny is the norm in the States, countries around the world have their own unique Easter traditions. From dressing up like witches to country-wide vows of silence, here are just a few ways Easter is celebrated across the globe.
It looks like you won’t find the Easter Bunny living down under. Though Australians celebrate Easter by decorating and searching for colorful eggs, it’s ‘Easter bilby’ who hides them. In Australia, bunnies are thought of as pests because they destroy crops, so they handed the job over to a bilby — a small, shy mammal that is endangered in Australia. In fact, each Easter, stores across the country donate a portion of their chocolate bilbies proceeds towards helping preserve them. After the kids find their hidden eggs from Easter bilby, families sit down to a meal of traditional hot cross buns — a warm, fried dough filled with fruits like strawberries, bananas, mangos, and kiwi.
As one of the most predominantly Catholic countries in the world, Easter traditions go back hundreds of years and are deeply rooted in religion. The 40 days before Easter, also known as Lent, are a time for self-discipline, reflection, and togetherness. On Holy Saturday, many people attend a special early morning church service and take a vow of silence until Easter morning. Easter in Ireland looks very similar to the American celebration, with families gathering together and children searching for eggs; however, after dinner, you’ll find very few sweets. During dessert, you’ll find most Irish households eating a traditional simnel cake, a light fruit cake made with just fresh fruit, and almond paste or marzipan.
Unlike most other countries, which celebrate Easter as a religious holiday, Easter in Sweden is much more secular. To the American eye, the holiday could also be closely confused with Halloween. Children spend the Saturday before Easter dressing up like witches and walk from house to house, asking for candy in exchange for songs and drawings.
Easter may fall on April 16th this year, but the religious celebrations will start long before that in Spain. Semana Santa, also known as the Holy Week, starts one week before Easter and is the biggest religious festival of the year. During the Holy Week, men come together in the streets of Spain to honor the Passion of Jesus Christ. Though Easter is first and foremost a religious holiday in Spain, it is also a celebration of the warm weather. In honor of spring, Spanish households typically end nights during Holy Week with Macedonia de Frutas Tropicales — a fruit salad consisting of papaya, pineapple, mango, and a splash of sparkling wine.
In Norway, Easter is referred to as Påske and is also celebrated as a secular holiday. Påske is eagerly welcomed by the people of Norway, as it represents the arrival of spring. To celebrate Påske, large families often head to the mountains to go skiing one last time. And no holiday would be complete without oranges. On any given day, Norway is one of the top importers and consumers of oranges, but during Påske, they eat over 20 million oranges — in cakes, cookies, and covered in chocolate.
Greek Easter, also known as Orthodox Easter, differs just slightly from the traditional Easter holiday. First and foremost, they are celebrated on different days. Easter follows the Christian, Gregorian calendar, while Greek Easter follows the Julian calendar. Typically, the holidays are celebrated on different days, however this year, they both fall on the same date. And while you’ll find those who celebrate Greek Easter coloring and decorating eggs, you’ll notice they’re a bit different from Western eggs. Greek Easter eggs are typically dyed a deep red color, to signify the blood of Christ, while traditional Easter eggs are usually dyed pastel colors.
No matter where you live or how you celebrate Easter, it looks like one thing we all have in common is our love of fresh fruit during the holidays! Whether you’re hosting or attending an Easter celebration, our Easter collection features a plethora of chocolate covered strawberries, pineapples, and apple bunnies — everything you’ll need to make this holiday unforgettable!