EASTER STORIES AROUND THE WORLD
Easter in Greece is a very religious time. Easter is celebrated all over the mainland and on the islands, it is a family celebration as well as being the most significant time in the Greek Orthodox Church. Eggs are painted red to represent the blood of Christ. On Easter Sunday, there are public outdoor banquets everywhere. The feast is composed of roasted lamb, eggs, bread, salads and traditional Greek Easter bread (tsoureki). Traditionally, when people meet they knock their eggs together and say “Christos Anesti!” meaning “Christ is risen”!
Eggs and Easter go together like presents and Christmas. They are probably the world’s most eggstraordinary holiday food ever: People dye and decorate eggs, they hide and find them, they try to roll them across the lawn the fastest, they tap them together to see whose egg breaks last (aka who’s the winner, aka receiver of good fortune) or they simply eat them. Like in Haux, France, where about 1,000 people get to eat a giant Easter omelet made of more than 4,000 eggs and over 100 pounds of bacon, garlic, and onions.
Norwegians have an interesting tradition for the season known for “Easter-Crime” or Paaskekrim. At this time of year, many around the country read mystery books or watch the televised crime detective series on national television. Many families escape up to the mountains for the vacation week beginning the Friday before Palm Sunday and ending the Tuesday after Easter Monday. When spending time in a ski cabin in the mountains, a popular past time is playing Yahtzee.
Luxembourgers celebrate Bretzelsonnden, Pretzel Sunday, on the third Sunday in Lent. In Luxembourg, pretzels are actually sweet puff pastries with icing and almonds. According to the Bretzelsonnden tradition the guys give the girl they fancy a pretzel on said Sunday. If she accepts the treat, the guy is allowed to visit the girl on Easter Sunday and will get an egg in return. If all of this happens in a leap year, the roles are reversed, and the girls can hand out pretzels.
In Mexico, Easter is a very serious and delicious event. Throughout the Holy Week, street food vendors spruik tasty pambazos with cheese, fried fish, plantains and piping hot pancakes, while skilled craftspeople weave elaborate palm decorations to hang inside the house. Families get together to celebrate and watch parades, with good food and good company definitely the order of the day.
In Haiti, Holy Week is marked by colourful parades and traditional “rara” music played on bamboo trumpets, maracas, drums, even coffee cans. The holiday is a mixture of Catholic and Voodoo traditions. Voodoo believers make an annual pilgrimage to the village of Souvenance, where they give their offerings to the spirits. The celebration is marked by drumming, chanting and animal sacrifices.