Easter traditions differ throughout the world. For this blog entry I traveled around the globe to learn more about Easter traditions in other cultures. It was a long day, but here’s what I learned.
I started in America, and, as you know, we dye eggs, and the White House hosts the Easter Egg Roll. What you may not know is that the latter is a tradition than began in Europe. I never knew the White House was originally in Europe.
After landing in Spain I witnessed them doing the “Danza de la Muerte” or “Dance of Death” where people in skeleton costumes walk through town scaring people. My inclination was to give them candy, but decided not to, avoiding the possibility of being beaten to “muerte.”
In some parts of Britain they play a game called “egg tapping” where they hit each other’s eggs and the winner is the player whose egg is the last to break. Not knowing that you shouldn’t use a hammer to “tap,” I won easily.
In Germany, they do the “egg dance” where they place eggs on the ground and dance around them while trying to avoid stepping on them. I enjoyed one too many Weisenbiers and crushed every last egg. It didn’t seem to help my situation when I said, “It’s ok, I’m an American.” Their cute nickname for me was “Dummkopf.”
When I arrived in Italy I witnessed the “Scoppio del Carro,” or the “Explosion of the Cart” which ensures a good harvest. After it blew up, we had pasta.
In Ireland they do a pre-Easter cleaning. It’s an honor for an American to clean their house, at least that’s what they told me. They also get new clothes, and cut their hair and nails.
They reenact Christ’s crucifixion in the Philippines where someone offers to be nailed to the cross. I informed them that I would love to volunteer, but I have a hair and nail appointment in Ireland.
Joel is a world traveler who enjoys chasing ping pong balls on a windy cruise ship