In Belgium Easter rhymes with... egg hunts!
This tradition actually dates back to the Middle Ages. As it was forbidden to ring the bells between Maundy Thursday and Easter Day, the silence was explained to the children by the bells going to Rome to be blessed. And on their way back, they were loaded with eggs that fell in the gardens and on the balconies.
However, by observing other cultures we can discover traditions that are completely different from ours. Fireworks, water fights, etc. Discover Easter around the world in this article!
1. Traditions around the world
For Easter the Belgian supermarkets are filled with egg and bunny shaped chocolates. However, in Australia these are replaced by bilbies, which have the ears of a rabbit but the nose of a mouse. . In fact, in this country, rabbits are seen as devastators of the land and are therefore not really appreciated.
And now let's make some noise on the island of Corfu. Did you know that on Holy Saturday Greeks throw earthen pots out of their windows? Some think this comes from the Venetians, who at New Year's threw out old things to mark a new beginning, others say it symbolizes the new harvest.
In Finland children dress up as witches and go door to door asking for eggs. This is done to ward off evil spirits in exchange for a chocolate reward, or other sweets. According to some sources, this visit is also accompanied by the shaking of willow branches, which brings good luck.
Do you know the "Scoppio del Carro"? In fact it is an Easter tradition in Florence, where a carriage embellished with fireworks is driven through the streets by people in 15th century costumes. Stopped at the dome, the cart is lit, and the show begins. This tradition aims to ensure a good harvest.
Some people celebrate Easter with friends, family, and others with an entire village! In Haux, gourmets actually prepare a giant omelet. According to the latest data, it can include more than 4,5000 eggs and feed 1000 people. According to history, Napoleon loved this dish and asked to prepare it for his entire army. This tradition is also present in Bessières, where the omelet can reach up to 15,000 eggs!
Make way for colors! At Easter, Hungarians decorate the eggs. The old painting techniques are still used. For example, to obtain the yellow color saffron and calendula are used, and for the green color spinach, nettles and green berries are applied.
Another creative idea! Filipinos create statuettes out of palm leaves. Usually they are in the shape of a cross, flower or dove, and are meant to protect houses from evil spirits.
Attack! On Easter Monday, Poles celebrate Śmigus-dyngus, which is simply a water fight. The weapons used are water guns, buckets or plastic bottles. In some families, this activity is even celebrated in the morning. So save the sleepers! In the past, this tradition was intended to wake up the inhabitants after the dark winter, and to promote fertility in women.
2. Some culinary inspirations
“Capirotada" is a dish from the northwest of Mexico. It is a bread pudding. Each ingredient is a symbol. For example, cinnamon sticks represent the cross and raisins represent the nails.
Fanesca is a soup from Ecuador. Its composition varies from region to region. But the main ingredients are the 12 grains, which represent the 12 apostles, cod, milk, eggs and "molo". The oldest recipe dates back to 1882!
Mona is a brioche that is traditionally eaten in Spain at Easter, and is characterized by lemon and orange blossom flavors. Traditionally, this dessert is shared with the family and eaten during a picnic.
Matété is a dish from Guadeloupe. The main ingredient is land crab, which is caught in February and fed until Easter. This crab is also eaten in Martinique, under the name "matoutou". These two recipes differ in taste and preparation. To discover them click here.
Ngalakh is a Senegalese dessert made of peanut paste, baobab fruits and araw, which is a kind of couscous. This specialty is particular because, according to tradition, it is shared between neighbors and not between family.