From pot-throwing to dancing with skeletons, Easter is celebrated in some pretty strange ways around the world.
While here in Australia we await a visit from the Easter bunny and exchange chocolate eggs, others around the globe are doing things very differently.
From France to Latin America, there are plenty of places to explore a more unusual Easter tradition.
Easter, or ‘Pasqua’ in Italian, is celebrated in Florence with residents blowing up a cart. Yes, you read that right. The whole town and many a tourist come to witness residents blowing up a cart thanks to a 350-year-old tradition called ‘scoppio del carro’ - literally translating to “explosion of the cart”.
A centuries-old cart is loaded with fireworks and pulled in front of the Florence Duomo, where spectators and pyromaniac’s alike can watch the cart explode. It’s meant to be a sign of peace and a good year ahead.
One town in Spain celebrates Easter in the most peculiar way! The town of Verges commemorates Holy Thursday with a Death Dance. The Dansa de la Mort occurs during the night, beginning at midnight and continuing until the witching hour of 3am.
Participants dress up like skeletons and re-enact scenes from The Passion of Christ and symbolises the final judgement of a person after death to determine whether their soul goes to heaven, purgatory, or hell.
This is definitely one of the strangest Easter traditions from around the world.
Children in France don’t get treats from the Easter bunny, they get them from Easter bells. That’s right, bells. According to Catholic teaching, no church bells can ring between Holy Thursday and Sunday Easter Vigil, in honour of the gravity surrounding Jesus’s death.
A legend said that the church bells weren’t rung because they grew wings and flew to Rome to be blessed by the Pope to then return on Easter Sunday with chocolate and presents for the children.
The Greek island of Corfu gets smashed on Easter Saturday, but not in the way you’re thinking. Here, residents take part in the annual “Pot Throwing” tradition and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Pots are thrown out of windows along with pans and other crockery to mark the beginning of spring. This tradition is to symbolise the new crops that will be gathered in new pots.
A famous Easter tradition in England revolves around eggs. Egg Jarping is a game where two players smash hard-boiled eggs together, and whoever’s egg remains fully intact is the winner.
While it may seem like there’s very little skill involved, many people take it very seriously. So serious in fact, there’s even a world egg-jarping championships competition held each Easter Sunday at Peterlee Cricket and Social Club in County Durham, England since 1983.
In Russia, Easter eggs are arguably the most important part of the holiday. Hard-boiled eggs are painted red with traditional onion skins symbolising resurrection and new life.
Parents and children alike exchange eggs to celebrate the holy time. Another less common practice is to keep the eggs until the following Easter to protect the family and house from floods, fires and other natural disasters.
Many Latin American countries participate in The Burning of Judas on Easter. Residents make an effigy of Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus before his death, and burn it. Sometimes, people even make the effigy explode with fireworks.
Forget the Easter egg hunt. In Germany Easter eggs are on full display. They are hung from trees throughout the streets. Some streets may even have trees with thousands of hanging eggs on them.
To discover all of these places and more check out the trip itineraries at Traflaga.