Strange Easter Traditions From Abroad

Easter is one of those holidays that already has strange traditions attached to it.

Like the Mall Santa-esque nightmare fuel courtesy of these rabbits

Like the Mall Santa-esque nightmare fuel courtesy of these abominations Easter Bunnies.

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.

Then again, associating the majestic rabbit with a strange cream egg made of chocolate may be the weirdest tradition of them all.

Then again, associating the majestic rabbit with a strange cream egg made of chocolate may be the weirdest tradition of them all.

France

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.

"Uh, guys, that's a lot of eggs.

“Uh, guys, that’s a lot of eggs.”

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?

giant omelet france easter

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.

Tremendous 12 Easter

We have no idea how they’ve arrived at that number either.

Poland

There are many nations on this planet that value facial hair for non-hipster reasons, so the next tradition has endured for this reason.

hipster cities

General Grant discusses his post-Vicksburg plans with a subordinate while downloading some crunchy jams that you’ve definitely never heard of before.

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.

"I would help you honey, but the risks are just too great."

“I would help you honey, but the risks are just too great.”

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.

"Actually, we're a progressive household, so I made this Easter Bread myself!"

“Actually, we’re a progressive household, so I made this Easter Bread myself!”

"I should have listened."

“I should have listened.”

Sweden 

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.

We'll stop showing them when they stop being terrifying.

We’ll stop showing them when they stop being terrifying hillarious.

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.

No, we're not going to show anymore of those terror costumes. Even we have limits.

No, we’re not going to show any more of those terror costumes. Even we have limits.

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.

We should do this here to chase away anyone involved with this movie.

We should do this here to chase away anyone involved with this movie.

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.

sweden easter kids

“We will also accept old Ikea instruction booklets so we can color.”

Czech Republic

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.

This thing is involved in a disturbingly large amount of "how we met" stories.

This thing is involved in a disturbingly large amount of “how we met” stories.

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.

"Come on, I hit you with a ribbon stick, now give me your purse!"

“Come on, I hit you with a ribbon stick, now give me your purse!”

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.

easter whip czech 2

*sniff* And then Hans didn’t even come close to me with his ribbon wand, but he hit everyone else! *sobs*

Greece

What’s the best part about the Fourth of July?

eagle flag

“You had better say freedom, commie.”

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.

It's stuck in your head now. You're welcome.

It’s stuck in your head now. You’re welcome.

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.

"We call then Gyros! Keep your Döner Kebab to yourselves!"

“We call then Gyros! Keep your Döner Kebab to yourselves!”

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.

greece fireworks easter

Also known as the night that every indie band in the town gets their album cover image.

               

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Brendan