Easter is one of those holidays that already has strange traditions attached to it.
As weird as it may seem to associate rabbits, eggs, and those chemical mounds they call “Peeps” with a traditionally religious holiday, it turns out that when foreigners aren’t too busy crushing us in education and health care, they’re celebrating Easter in unique and sometimes terrifying ways.
Let’s start small, shall we? Eggs are involved in a lot of Easter traditions, so it hardly comes as a surprise that the French would have something involving the tiny protein grenades.
What did we say about starting small France? In the town of Haux, in the region of Nantes in France, all 4,500 eggs are used to feed 1,500 people. How eggactly?
That’s right, the French have determined that the best Easter egg delivery system is a gigantic omelet, because nothing screams Easter like the most forgettable part of the Tremendous 12.
There are many nations on this planet that value facial hair for non-hipster reasons, so the next tradition has endured for this reason.
In Poland, there is an Easter tradition stating that any man who helps with the baking of the Easter Bread will run the risk of having his mustache turn grey.
The tradition, in effect, bars a man from cooking at all on the holiday, probably much to the delight of whatever the Polish equivalent of SportsCenter is.
With regard to mixing traditions, many Americans probably think that, as far as Easter is concerned, the Santa/Easter Bunny hybrid tradition is about as far as it goes.
Even with the marketing geniuses in the US, no one has really thought to mix Halloween and Easter, but Sweden has basically done just that.
The Swedish holiday of Walpurgis Night, which usually falls on April 30, is a holiday for chasing away evil spirits and witches by lighting bonfires.
Terrible cash-ins based on the nostalgia of 60’s TV shows aside, in Sweden little girls will paint their faces and basically trick or treat during Easter, by going door to door with baskets and asking for candy.
There’s no delicate way of putting this, in the Czech Republic, the Easter tradition is that the men whip women that they find attractive with a flail made of ribbons.
In return, the woman will give the man eggs, money, or whiskey. It’s like The Purge for robbery and battery except it happens on Easter for some baffling reason.
It’s also considered a bit of a slight if a woman does not have any men flail her with ribbons, which is probably the saddest way to get rejected.
What’s the best part about the Fourth of July?
Fireworks. Of course it’s fireworks. Anyway, on the Greek island of Chios in the town of Vrontados, two Greek Orthodox churches on either side of town on the night before Easter fire rockets at each other in an attempt to see how many times they can hit each other’s bells.
There a few theories of how this started. It is alleged that fireworks were used to scare advancing Turks away from the town over a century ago.
The other, less gritty origin story, is that Greek sailors were taught how to make fireworks by the Chinese. As anyone who has blown up anything with an M-80 can tell you, the leap from learning how to make fireworks, and shooting them across town at each other is not a far one.