HomeInspireLife

10 Unusual Easter traditions from around the globe

Allison Lee

BY Allison Lee

28th Mar 2023 Life

10 Unusual Easter traditions from around the globe

Looking to get into the Easter mood and learn more about the holiday? From crime novel readings in Norway to egg fights in Bulgaria, here are ten unusual ways Easter is celebrated in different cultures

While Easter is widely celebrated around the globe, each culture has a unique way of carrying out the festivities while connecting with its community and traditions. You might be surprised by the creative ways of celebrations communities come up with that go beyond your usual Easter egg hunt.

Poland: Smigus-Dyngus

10 Unusual Easter traditions from around the globe - Smigus-Dyngus in Poland on EasterCredit: Polimerek

If, for some reason, you are looking to get soaked on Easter, then Poland is for you. Also known as Wet Monday, the Polish would pour water on each other as a symbol of purification and rebirth. From buckets to water guns, no one is safe from being drenched!

Hungary: Locsolkodás

10 Unusual Easter traditions from around the globe - Locsolkodás in Hungary on Easter.Credit: Opusztaszer

Hungary’s Locsolkodás is similar to Poland’s Smigus-Dyngus but slightly more romantic. Young men would visit the homes of young women they liked on Easter Monday and recite a poem or sing them a song before spraying them with perfume or water.

"Hungary’s Locsolkodás is similar to Poland’s Smigus-Dyngus but slightly more romantic"

In exchange, women would gift them painted Easter eggs. A commonly recited poem is “I was walking in a green forest, I saw a blue violet, it had started to wilt, may I sprinkle it?”

Bulgaria: A battle of cracks

Bulgarians have taken the ultimate symbol of Easter and created a fight out of it. That’s right, Easter egg fights are common in Bulgaria, and the winner is whoever’s egg remains uncracked at the very end. Don’t worry; this tradition is far from a violent fight. Locals would decorate boiled eggs with intricate designs before tapping them against each other in a “fight”.

Italy: Scoppio del Carro

10 Unusual Easter traditions from around the globe - Scoppio del Carro in Italy on EasterCredit: Maurizio

In Italy, a large antique cart filled with fireworks is pulled through the streets of Florence before being lit in front of the Piazza del Duomo, producing a spectacle for all to witness.

"A successful cart explosion is believed to bring about good harvest and business to all"

A successful cart explosion is believed to bring about good harvest and business to all. The Italians also playfully throw candy and confetti at each other after the display.

United States: They see me rolling

10 Unusual Easter traditions from around the globe - Children participate in the White House Easter Egg Roll Credit: Saul Loeb

Thanks to President Rutherford B. Hayes, the White House has hosted an annual Easter Egg Roll on its beautiful front lawn since 1878. On this day, children would roll eggs across the lawn using wooden spoons, and families are invited to partake in an array of Easter-themed activities.

Australia: Easter Bilby

10 Unusual Easter traditions from around the globe - A lesser bilby road sign near the highway on a sunny dayCredit: Wirestock

While most of the world has heard of the Easter Bunny, Australia has an Easter Bilby instead, and for good reason. In Australia, rabbits have caused significant damage to the ecosystem and hence were not a popular choice as the face of Easter. Enter the Bilby, an endangered marsupial with a pointy snout, long ears, and soft fur.

Romania: Face cleanse with a twist

10 Unusual Easter traditions from around the globe - A young woman was splashed with water in Armaseni village, Romania, as a part of a regional Easter Monday traditionCredit: kristo74

In Romania, people collect their water from a local well on Easter Sunday for face-washing purposes. It is said that the water has cleansing and healing properties that can wash away sins and purify a person, fit for the occasion that is Easter. In some parts, local residents would directly pour water on each other as well!

Norway: Peak time for crime

10 Unusual Easter traditions from around the globe - A chick in a detective capCredit: UroshPetrovic

Reading crime novels might be the last thing on your Easter to-do list, but it is certainly at the top of Norwegians’. This tradition came to be in 1923 when a book publisher promoted crime novels during Easter, and it has endured the test of time to become a Norwegian custom.

"Reading crime novels might be the last thing on your Easter to-do list, but it is certainly at the top of Norwegians’"

Now, not only do publishers jump on the wagon to churn out Easter thrillers (or påskekrim), but people also tune into crime films during the holiday.

Bermuda: Flying high

10 Unusual Easter traditions from around the globe - Triangular kites with long tails and streamers fill the blue sky during an annual kite festivalCredit: CAEccles

When Good Friday comes around, Bermuda skies are filled with handmade kites being flown by locals to symbolise Christ’s ascension. The event has been popularised as the Bermuda Kite Festival, and onlookers can observe kites of all shapes, colours, and sizes. Some are even adorned with messages to stand out.

Corfu: Watch out for flying clay pots

Residents of Corfu practice a tradition known as “Botides”, meant to symbolise an earthquake that happened after the Resurrection of Christ. On Holy Saturday, locals will throw clay pots and pans out of their windows and balconies and watch them smash on the ground. This lively and loud practice is believed to ward off evil spirits.

Banner credit: kristo74

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter

*This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...