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Spring brings with her the promise of new beginnings and Easter is her crown jewel. As Americans, we celebrate the Easter season in many different ways but these traditions mostly include egg dying and Easter egg hunts, chocolate bunnies, decorated baskets, and special Easter Sunday outfits for church.
It might surprise you a bit to hear of some of the interesting ways people around the world celebrate Easter…
In Poland, pouring water on one another is an Easter tradition called S'migus-dyngus, On Easter Monday, “Wet Monday”, people try to drench each other with buckets of water, squirt guns, or anything they can get their hands on. Legend says girls who get soaked on Wet Monday will marry within the year. Hmmmm…..
On the British island of Bermuda there is a kite fest held every Good Friday where homemade kites are flown on the beach. The story goes that a local Sunday school teacher explaining Christ's ascension launched a kite that looked like Jesus to help the students understand, and the tradition was born.
In a southern Guatemalan town called Antigua, colorful carpets made from flowers, colored sawdust, fruits, vegetables, and sand line the streets made by artists with scenes ranging from religion to Mayan traditions to nature and Guatemalan history.
In 1991, Australia replaced the Easter bunny with the Easter Bilby (a rabbit-eared bandicoot) as rabbits are widely considered as pests due to crop destruction. Ever had a chocolate bilby?
There is a southern French town named Haux that creates a giant egg omelet every Easter using more than 15,000 eggs and feeds up to 1,000 people. Legend has it, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they stopped in a small town and ate omelets. Napoleon liked his so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelet for his army the next day.
On the island of Corfu in Greece, pot-throwing is the Easter tradition. people throw earthenware pots often filled with water out of their windows, smashing them on the street below. They believe the throwing of the pots welcomes spring, symbolizing the new crops that will be gathered in the new pots.
May we enjoy our family traditions this Easter, both the beautiful and bizarre, but let’s never loose sight of the true meaning behind the celebration. There is One who is the author of new beginnings and He offers new life to anyone who believes!
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