Sunday, July 21, 2024

Easter Traditions: Celebration In Different Cultures, Countries

As God always breathes life into the world, communities around the globe come together to celebrate Easter—a time of renewal, joy, and cherished traditions.”

From the heart of bustling cities to the peace of rural towns, Easter traditions bring people together in a tapestry of culture and faith.”

Narrator: “In churches worldwide, the faithful commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of Easter, with solemn ceremonies and joyous hymns.”

In kitchens, families come together to prepare sumptuous feasts—traditional dishes passed down through generations, enjoyed in the warmth of loved ones’ company.”

In towns and villages, the streets come alive with colorful processions and jubilant parades—celebrating the arrival of spring and the promise of hope.”

Today on the space.com, let’s explore how some countries celebrate Easter.

Easter In Ethiopia

Fasting is crucial in many African countries, and Ethiopia isn’t left out. It all starts with 56 days of fasting, during which no meat or dairy products are consumed.

On Sunday, people dress in white and join a massive feast for a traditional meal called Doro wot, which consists of spicy chicken stew, Injera bread, and honey wine.

Also, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrates it roughly two weeks later than the West because of this fasting period.

Easter In South Africa

Although there are many churches in South Africa who follow Western traditions, there are also ones that have retained the African traditions, such as African Zionist churches.

During their church services, members of the Zion Christian churches perform a traditional dance called Mkhukhu, which involves a lot of stamping on the foot.

Such practices are especially common in churches of Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.

Some authorities find the rituals overly Africanized and not fitting in the spirit of Easter, while others argue that it is only natural because these traditions have existed long before Christianity came to Africa.

Easter In Nigeria

Nigeria is one of the African countries that brings festival vibes to Easter. Not only the churches but also streets and parks are packed with people.

Igbo people living in Southern Nigeria have a distinct masquerade dance called Mmo, where young men dance in colorful costumes and masks.

In addition, many churches and houses get decorated with palm branches.

It refers to Palm Sunday, which is when Jesus entered Jerusalem to bring peace.

In Nigeria there are no Easter Bunny and egg hunts. Easter is a four day holiday starting on Good Friday and going through Easter Monday. The holiday is about the celebration of God’s gift of washing away sins and spending time with families.

On Easter Sunday, People are ready to celebrate. Most Christians attend church and then move into the streets where there is dancing and beating of drums.

Families usually gather together and have a dinner after church which includes all the foods they couldn’t eat during Lent (dairies and flesh meats).

Easter In Kenya

Kenya is another country that brings in different forms of feast and entertainment. Kenyan cuisine stands out with the spicy grilled meat called Nyama Choma, and Ugali, which is a maize flour porridge specific to Kenya.

In Nairobi, you can see a lot of families hiking at Karura Forest and having a picnic.

In the meantime, Mombasa experiences one of its peak times with many families staying at the resorts.

Mombasa’s massive street markets sell crafts and food-related to Easter tradition in Africa.

Easter In Rwanda

Unlike many other African countries celebrating Easter, Rwanda’s version of Easter is reminiscent of a tragedy in the past. April 7, 1994, marks the beginning of a civil war, where over a million Tutsi people were massacred during the RPA/F rebellions.

The church services put a strong emphasis on commemorating them through prayers and songs.

Because the preparations for the genocide’s memorial clash with the Easter holidays, the celebrations are kept at a minimum level.

Ghana

For many Ghanaians, Easter is the time that the country becomes Africa’s hub of art and sports.

The capital city Accra takes the lead in celebrations as the host of the annual Easter Comedy, which brings in famous stand-up comedians from all over Africa.

The coastal city of Kwahu hosts the annual Paragliding Festival that employs paraglider pilots from all around the world.

If you want to visit Ghana, remember Easter would be a great opportunity to conquer your fear of heights and falling.

Easter in Ghana is also the time many people migrate to Kumasi and Lake Bosomtwe in search of tranquility, while people from ethnic groups like Kwehu visit their elderly family members to pay respect.

Here, we take a look at some Easter traditions around the globe and the history behind them.

Easter In Spain

Known in Spain as Semana Santa, or Holy Week, Easter is observed for an entire seven days on the Iberian peninsula.

Celebrations begin during the last week of Lent, and it is marked by huge and elaborate religious processions in nearly every single town and village across the country.

People parade through the streets in costumes or in hooded robes, carrying intricate religious floats depicting difference scenes from the bible, while often accompanied by live music.

Some of the most well known take place in Zamora, Valladolid, Seville and Granada.

Treats such as torrija (similar to French toast), pestiños and cakes are all popular around this time as well.

Easter in France

Much like in Spain, many of France’s Easter customs stem from Catholic tradition and as such the holiday is usually a more religious affair than the UK’s.

One such tradition dictates that church bells stop ringing around Easter as a mark of respect for Jesus’ death, and to explain their silence children are told the bells have flown to Rome to be blessed by the Pope.

On the morning of Easter Sunday – Jesus’ resurrection – the bells then fly back to France loaded with sweet treats which they drop into gardens for the children. Once they are back in their steeples they then start ringing joyfully again.

Traditional food revolves around lamb, cheese, potatoes and chocolate. In the town of Bessières thousands of people gather on the Monday morning to make a giant omelette, usually consisting of 15,000 eggs and 40 cooks.

Easter in Germany

Good Friday and Easter Monday are both public holidays in Germany, and they celebrate by lighting bonfires around sunset on Holy Saturday.

Some places have turned the “osterfeuer” (Easter bonfire) into mini festivals with stands selling sausages, wine and funfair rides while other communities stuff huge bales of straw into a wooden wheel, set it on fire and roll it down a hill (known as the Osterrad).

Other traditions include decorating an “Easter tree” with hand painted eggs, known as the Ostereierbaum. Usually, families hang the ornaments from a small household tree, however you can hang them from bigger foliage in your garden.

It is also traditional in Germany to eat something green on Maundy Thursday, which is called Gründonnerstag – or “green Thursday”. Spiced, sweet bread, enriched with eggs and dairy and dotted with almonds, candied peel raisins are also popular during Easter for breakfast and afternoon tea.

Easter in The Philippines

Devout Catholics in the Philippines will volunteer to be “crucified” on Good Friday to reenact Jesus’ suffering, in a particularly gruesome practice that has been condemned by the church.

Thousands watch the reenactment, known as the San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites, in the province of Pampanga, in which believers are nailed to crosses to atone for their sins or pray for others.

Penitents volunteer to have nails measuring two inches long hammered into their palms and feet by people dressed as Roman centurions and nailed to a cross. They are only taken down from the cross once they feel atoned of their sins.

The practice, which is believed to date to the 1950s, also sees other penitents flagellate themselves using bamboo sticks tied to a rope.

Easter In Brazil

Brazilians celebrate Easter in many different ways. Christians celebrate the Holy Week whereas non-religious people will focus more on spending time with their families and friends and gifting chocolate eggs.

Chocolate fever starts just after Carnival when you see the supermarkets clear the aisles and create displays of thousands of chocolate eggs of every shape, color, and size. It’s beautiful, but overwhelming!

For a country of over 200 million people, there’s no shortage of chocolate eggs. There’s a long tradition of gifting chocolate eggs of every size and type to everyone you know.

Especially large, beautifully wrapped chocolate eggs that come with an extra decadent filling or toy. There’s literally a chocolate egg for every taste and preference!

Many families will also make their own chocolate eggs at home. It’s customary to buy chocolate egg shells and then fill them with brigadeiro spread, cake, sauces, and sprinkles and then eat the entire thing with a spoon!

So, that’s it on space.com we’ve been talking easter traditions in different countries of the world.

These traditions offer a glimpse into the diverse ways Easter is celebrated around the world, each with its own cultural significance and customs.

As the sun sets on another Easter day, we are reminded of the timeless traditions that bind us together, transcending borders and cultures, and filling our hearts with joy.

Thanks for watching SPACE.COM “Happy Easter, from all of us, to you and your loved ones.”

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