Word Echoes from SANZ: “EASTER CELEBRATIONS”
Written by Helewise Arends on March 29, 2018
Easter (also called ‘Pascha’) is the time of the year when Christians
remember the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The word ‘Easter’ comes from 2 old pagan spring festivals –
The Old European pagan festival of ‘Ostara’ that celebrated new life and
Arabian Sun festival of ‘Ishtar’.
Easter is celebrated around the world in a variety of ways with traditions differing from country to country.
“Sprinkling” (also known as “Ducking Monday”) is a popular Hungarian Easter Monday tradition, in which boys playfully sprinkle perfume,
cologne or water over a young women’s head, and ask for a kiss.
It used to be believed that water had a cleaning, healing and fertility-inducing effect.
In the town of Haux in France, a giant omelet made from 4500 eggs that feeds 1000 people is served up in the town’s main square.
The story goes that when Napoleon and his army were travelling through the South of France,
they stopped in a small town and ate omelets.
In Brazil, there is the tradition of creating straw dolls to represent Judas (the Apostle known for betraying Christ),
and hanging them in the streets and beating them up.
Easter Saturday, called ‘Sábada de Aleluia’ inspires mini versions of Carnival
in small towns to celebrate the end of Lent.
Easter in Sweden is celebrated with the children dressing up as Easter witches wearing long skirts,
colorful headscarves & painted red cheeks. The children trade paintings & drawings in the hope of receiving sweets.
The tradition of ‘Pot Throwing’ takes place on the morning of Holy Saturday in Corfu, Greece
where people throw pots, pans & other earthenware out of their windows
to symbolize the welcoming of Spring and the new crops that will be gathered in the new pots.
In Florence, Italy, a huge decorated wagon is dragged through the streets by white oxen until it reaches the cathedral, and when Gloria is sung inside the cathedral, the Archbishop sends a dove-shaped rocket into the cart, igniting a large fireworks display called the ‘Scoppio del Carro’ (explosion of the cart).
In Bermuda on Good Friday, the locals celebrate by flying home-made kites, eating codfish cakes and hot cross buns.
In Bulgaria, the people have egg fights and whoever comes out of the game with an unbroken egg is the winner and assumed to be the most successful family member for the coming year.
The universal trend is the symbolic use of Easter eggs – which represents fertility and new life.
In most Western countries ‘Egg hunts’ spark a sweet array of hopefuls,
Bursting with joy, with the announcement of
“Let the Easter hunt begin!”
BLOGGER: HELEWISE ARENDS