Easter Sunday is the day Christians celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, signaling the all sufficiency of His sacrifice to atone for our sins, to reconcile us to a Holy God. For most, Easter has everything to do with traditions and very little to do with the resurrection. Here are some secular traditions from around the world:
- Slovakia – Men and boys whip women and girls with colorfully decorated sticks. The tradition is said to encourage good health and beauty.
- Poland – Men are not allowed to make Easter bread in fear that their moustache will turn grey.
- Finland – Children dress up as witches and wander the streets hunting for treats.
- Germany – Christmas trees are piled into a heap and burnt as a way of recognizing the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
- Poland – On Easter Monday, boys try to drench other people with buckets of water, squirt guns or anything they can get their hands on. Legend says girls who get soaked will marry within the year.
- France – Each year, on Easter Monday, a giant omelet made with 4500 eggs is served in the town square in Haux, France.
- Australia – Bilbies, desert-dwelling marsupial omnivores, not bunny rabbits, “bring” the eggs. This is because Bilbies are an endangered species and rabbits are considered to be unwanted pests because they destroy crops.
- Columbia – Easter dinner consists of iguana, turtles and big rodents.
- Hungary – Men pour water on traditionally dressed women on Easter.
- Brazil – Straw effigies of Judas are beaten, kicked and set on fire. These effigies are occasionally adorned with a picture of a politician.
- Netherlands – Church bells are said to fly away and go to Rome. They return on Easter Sunday bringing colored eggs and chocolates.
- Spain – People bake pastries that are wrapped around a whole raw egg, shell and all, which is then broken on top of someone’s head.
This Easter, let us consider how we celebrate the greatest event in history and whether we are glorifying God or trampling the greatest gift of God underfoot.