Easter Traditions Around the World
Rabbit Free Australia launched a campaign in 1991 to replace the Easter bunny with the Easter Bilby or rabbit-eared bandicoot. In Australia, rabbits are widely considered pests for destroying crops and land. Companies now make chocolate bilbies with the proceeds benefiting the endangered animals.
In Florence there is a 350-year-old tradition known as Scoppio del Carro, or "explosion of the cart" that is celebrated by the locals. An ornate cart packed with fireworks is led through the streets of the city by people in colourful 15th century costumes before stopping outside the Duomo then the Archbishop of Florence then lights a fuse during Easter mass and there is then a fireworks display.
Children go begging in the streets for chocolate eggs dressed up like witches with made-up faces and scarves around their heads, carrying bunches of willow twigs decorated with feathers. In some parts of Western Finland, people burn bonfires on Easter Sunday, a Nordic tradition stemming from the belief that the flames ward off witches who fly around on brooms between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
In Poland they have a tradition called Śmigus-dyngus which involves pouring water on one another. On Easter Monday, boys try to drench other people with buckets of water or squirt guns. Legend says girls who get soaked will marry within the year. Theg tradition has its origins in the baptism of Polish Prince Mieszko on Easter Monday in 966 AD.
Each year on Easter Monday year a giant omelette is served up in the town's main square. The omelette fees up to 1,000 people and uses more than 4,500 egg. The story goes, when Napoleon and his army were traveling through the south of France, they stopped in a small town and ate omelettes. Napoleon liked his so much that he ordered the townspeople to gather their eggs and make a giant omelette for his army the next day.
The traditional "pot throwing" takes place on the morning of Holy Saturday. People throw pots, pans and other earthenware out of their windows, smashing them on the street. Some say the custom derives from the Venetians, who on New Year's Day used to throw out their old items.
The White House has hosted the Easter Egg Roll on its South Lawn for over 130 years. A coloured hard boiled egg is rolled with a large serving spoon. The event also has other amusements such as musical groups, an egg hunt, sports and crafts.
An Easter tradition observed on Easter Monday in Hungary is "Sprinkling". Boys playfully sprinkle perfume or perfumed water on girls. Young men used to pour buckets of water over young women's heads, but now they spray perfume, cologne or just plain water, and ask for a kiss.