Finally spring has sprung! As we take the opportunity to refresh body and soul, many gather with friends and family to relish the moment in celebration of Passover or Easter. From burning wheels to hooded presiders, these are our picks for cool Easter traditions around the world.
- The Fox – before there was the bunny, there was the Easter Fox. Some Dutch and German cultures have an Easter fox that bring children gifts. Lamb is another significant animal of the holiday representing both innocence and sacrifice…Greeks roast lamb on a spit, and Germans make lamb-shaped cakes.
- Burning Wheel – Lügde, located in the Northern Rhine region of Germany, is primarily known for the Osterräderlauf (Easter Wheel Run) where ancient tradition has it that if the wheels roll down the hill as straight as possible, a good harvest is to come that year.
- Gunshots & Firework Duel – The Greek islands and villages have a “go big or go home” approach to this holiday. On islands like Samos gunshots can be heard ringing out at the Easter vigil when the priest announces “Christos Anesti”, Christ has risen. Islands like Chios have a firework duel between two large churches to see who has the most impressive display.
- Hooded “nazarenos” – In Seville, Spain, these strangely masked penitents join worshippers in a parade and wear habits with long pointed hoods. This amazing spectacle can include anywhere from a few hundred to thousands.
- The Candle Cross – in Yerevan, Armenia soliders gather in the main square and march with votive candles in hand. All together, they put the candles on the ground and march off…leaving the shape of a giant cross illuminated by hundreds of candles.