Easter is widely celebrated throughout the world. It’s a holiday that many use to symbolize the end of winter’s chill and the new beginnings that come around every spring. But it doesn’t look the same everywhere you go. From Florence’s Easter Mass to France’s large omelets, here are some of the more unique Easter traditions around the world.
1. Giant Omelette, Bessieres, France
Every year in the southern town Bessieres, France more than 10,000 people come together for one of the more incredible culinary spectacles you might ever see – to cook one of largest omelets the world has ever seen!
Using exactly 15,000 eggs each year, a collective called the Giant Omelette Brotherhood of Bessieres comes together to pour the impressive number of eggs into an equally impressive pan. The omelet takes about 40 minutes to cook and requires large wooden spoons and tools to maneuver. The result is a beautiful omelet that’s shared by the whole town.
2. Wandering Witches, Finland
While the image of children walking around in witch costumes asking for candy would make most think about Halloween, it’s a clear sign of Easter in Finland. Every year in the northern country, young children dress up as witches on the Sunday before Easter. They go door-to-door offering to bless your home in exchange for candy and treats – particularly colorful chocolate eggs and sometimes even pocket change. The long-standing tradition is a way to welcome spring, with hope for a good harvest ahead.
3. Exploding cart, Florence, Italy
Florence is known for its beautiful architecture, incredible food, and rich history. But following mass on Easter morning, it’s known for the Scoppio del Carro, which translates to ‘explosion of the cart’. A beautiful wagon with elaborate decorations is pulled through town by two oxen until it arrives at the city square in front of the Cathedral. It’s a beautiful procession and people are often dressed in their finest Easter outfits.
The cart is pre-rigged with explosives, and at 11 AM the song Gloria is sung from inside the church. At this time, the Archbishop sets fire to a dove-shaped rocket which flies out of the church and collides with the cart. The result is an impressive fireworks display, cheers, and the highly-anticipated explosion of the cart. This exciting ritual dates back more than 350 years and if it is performed smoothly, it’s taken as a sign that there will be a good harvest ahead.
4. Crime Novels, Norway
While Easter conjures up images of flowers, colorful eggs, and cute animals in Norway it’s a great time for crime! Crime novels, to be exact. Every year, new thriller novels, known as “Paaskekrimmen“, are released around the holiday. The fun tradition is said to have been started back in 1923 when authors Nordahl Grieg and Nils Lie wrote a crime novel. The week before Easter, their publisher came up with a brilliant advertising campaign where they’d take over the front page headlines of newspapers, describing the crime from the book. This remarkable advertising stunt was so convincing that the public thought the crimes being reported were real. Ever since, Easter’s been known as “crime time” in Norway!
5. Water Sprinkling, Hungary
One of the more unique traditions can be found in Hungary. A tradition called “Locsolkodás”, which translates to “sprinkling”, is occasionally celebrated in villages across the country. This tradition has a long history to it and appears in other countries including the US and Poland. It often involves a male sprinkling a woman with water or spritzing her with perfume. But a more extreme case has woman dressing in traditional clothing and being doused with a bucket of cold water.