Easter is such a fun time. Growing up Easter was in Autumn so I used to question the chickens, etc. It truly didn’t occur to me until I came to the US that it was Spring in the Northern Hemisphere and therefore it made a lot more sense! (Duh!)
We love celebrating Easter in our family. We dye eggs and have our own present hunt on Easter Sunday. Of course, hot cross buns feature, because it is such a British/Australian thing (though I make my girls wait until a couple of weeks before Easter to start baking them. In Australia you will find them in stores on Boxing Day – the day after Christmas).
We love learning about other countries. Part of that is because we are a trinational family and also because we hope to worldschool one day soon.
This became a fun homeschool project for us. We looked at different traditions from around the world. Here are some that we thought were fun….and perhaps a little bit different.
In Bermuda, on Good Friday, they fly homemade kites. They are colorful and often have geometric designs. No one really knows how this tradition started, but one origin story is that a teacher used a kite to explain the ascension of Jesus. The teacher flew the kite up high and then cut the string so the kite soared away out of sight. The Good Friday Kite Festival is a big deal in Bermuda.
AUSTRALIA AND THE UK
We had to research an Australian tradition, right? So, we have already mentioned Hot Cross Buns but another tradition that you will still see in schools is the Easter Hat (or Bonnet) parade. I remember making these hats every year and parading around with my classmates. These hats can be simple or highly elaborate (I guess it depends on how much time you want to spend on them). You can decorate them with bunny ears, eggs, flowers, chicks, whatever takes your fancy.
The girls’ great-grandmother is French. So why not look at a French tradition! She grew up in Strasbourg, but this tradition is from Haux. On Easter Monday they make a HUGE omelet. They will use more than 4,500 eggs (imagine how much that would cost in today’s egg economy?) and it will feed about 1,000 people. Tradition says that Napoleon and his army were traveling through the area and stopped in this town. After being served omelets, he liked them so much he ordered the townspeople to gather up their eggs and make a giant omelet for his army.
In just 24 hours, ready for the Good Friday procession, the people of Antigua will make colorful carpets to cover the streets. These carpets are made from colored sawdust, flowers, sand, fruit and vegetables. They are truly works of art, showing scenes that are important to the artists. It seems a shame to see them walked on.
Here is another family connection. One of the girls’ uncles comes from Poland. This tradition excites them because it involves water. We can’t properly pronounce what it is called (Śmigus-Dyngus) but it is the tradition where, on Easter Monday, people throw a lot of water on each other. It is connected with the coming of Spring and water represents life and renewal. Sounds like fun!
On Easter Saturday morning you will want to watch out if you are on Corfu. People will throw clay pots from their balconies onto the streets below. It either symbolizes the earthquake that happened when Jesus was resurrected or is the tradition to represent throwing away old belongings to prepare for new beginnings.
We can’t leave out Germany. It is another nation in our trinationality. Like in Australia, Easter in Germany is a 4 day long weekend. It is a time for family, egg hunts and brunch. In some parts of Germany, a lamb shaped cake decorated with chocolates and icing powder can be found on the dinner table during Easter. The lambs symbolize life, peaceful living and purity.
Want to make Hot Cross Buns? Check out the recipe here