Catholics know how to throw an Easter party. The Church celebrates fifty days of Easter, spanning the time between Easter Vigil and Pentecost. That’s plenty of time to throw a party or two!
Looking to shake things up a bit this year? Check out these nine fun Easter celebrations from around the world for some inspiration!
1. Host an egg fight
You’ve heard of an Easter egg hunt, but how about an Easter egg fight? In Bulgaria, adults and children alike arm themselves with hard boiled eggs. They then go around tapping each other’s eggs. The person whose egg doesn’t crack wins the contest and is believed to have good health for the year to come.
2. Get treats from the Easter bells
French children don’t believe that the Easter bunny comes to visit their home to bring treats. Instead, the treats come from the Easter bells.
In France, no bells are rung between Holy Thursday and Easter Vigil. French legend holds that the bells weren’t rung on those days because they grew wings and flew to Rome to be blessed by the pope. The bells returned from their flight loaded down with chocolate and gifts for the children.
3. Explode an old cart
Fireworks aren’t just for New Year’s Eve. In Florence, Italians celebrate Easter with the tradition of “scoppio del carro,” or “explosion of the cart.”
Italians load up an old cart with fireworks and pull it in front of the Duomo. Then, the Archbishop of Florence lights a fuse during the Easter Mass that leads to the cart outside in the square. Spectators enjoy an Easter firework show.
Looking for another Italian tradition? Residents of Panicale, a town south of Florence, celebrate the day after Easter with a friendly competition. Town residents roll huge wheels of cheese around the perimeter of the town.
4. Put together a blessing basket
Święconka is one of the most beloved Polish Easter traditions. On Holy Saturday, Polish families make blessing baskets. The baskets are filled to the brim with Easter foods that each contain a symbolic meaning. For instance, eggs symbolize Christ’s rising from the dead, while ham reminds the Polish people of great joy and abundance.
Lent doesn’t end until the priest blesses the Easter blessing baskets. In rural communities, the priest goes from home to home, blessing the baskets. But it’s more common to see parishioners gather at the church for a communal blessing.
5. Pet an Easter Bilby
Australians consider rabbits pests, since they wreck havoc on the land. So instead of visits from the Easter rabbit, Australian children are visited by the Easter Bilby.
In 1991, the Foundation for Rabbit-Free Australia started a campaign to replace the bunny with the bilby. Today, Australians purchase chocolate bilbies for their Easter celebrations and the funds support bilby conservation efforts.
6. Dance the Morris
In the U.K., people gather for Morris dance performances. Morris dancing is a folk dance that dates back to the Middle Ages. Men show up with bells around their ankles. Everyone dances through the streets waving ribbons. Legend says the Morris dance drives out the spirits of winter and brings good luck for the year to come.
Morris dancing isn’t just for the English, though. Morris sides (or teams) can be found in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, and Cyprus.
7. Throw dishes out of the windows
In Greece, the Island of Corfu becomes a messy sight on the morning of Easter Saturday. People gather for pot throwing, and it looks exactly like what you’d expect an event called “pot throwing” to look like.
Greeks fill pots, pans, and other dishes with water and then throw them out of the windows. The tradition marks the beginning of the spring season. After all the pots are smashed, people gather up the broken parts and bring them home.
8. Pour water on your friends
The day after Easter, Hungarians gather for a tradition called “locsolkodás,” or “sprinkling.” Men write poems about the women and sprinkle them with perfume. In the past, men “sprinkled” women by throwing buckets of water over their heads. These days, most women are just sprayed with a small amount of perfume or water.
9. Eat a giant omelet
Looking for more ways to celebrate Easter Monday? Head to Haux, France. Each year, residents of the town make a giant omelet with more than 4,500 eggs. Over 1,000 people gather in the town’s main square to eat the omelet together.
The giant omelet tradition comes from a story about Napoleon and his troops. They stopped in the town and ate omelets, which Napoleon liked so much that he asked to town to make one giant omelet for his entire army the next day.