Easter is a story of sacrifice, but also of new beginnings and hope. This year, especially, that message feels particularly pertinent. With Easter weekend around the corner, those who follow Christianity are gearing up for the festivities. While most people tend to celebrate the four-day weekend with egg hunts and stacks of sweet treats, other countries have embraced their own Easter rituals.
Travelling during Easter has always been popular among tourists, however, 2020 was an exception and many people who couldn’t visit their favourite Easter spots in person, did so via virtual travel. Virtual tourism came at a time when people needed some form of an escape from being cooped up inside their homes – in isolation or in quarantine.
While Easter this year will also be a slightly muted celebration, we can still find our travel inspiration by learning how different countries around the world celebrate the holiday. Who knows? It might just help you plan your next Easter destination! Let’s dive right in.
Easter in Greece is a very religious time, churches are decorated and religious processions are held. Eggs are painted red to represent the blood of Christ. Traditionally, when people meet, they knock their eggs together and say ‘Christos anesti!’ meaning ‘Christ is risen!’ Many people also view the cracking of the eggs to be symbolic of Jesus breaking out of his tomb.
Germany has a number of Easter traditions. Easter Sunday is known as ‘Family Day’. Lots of sweet treats are eaten, including a cake shaped like a lamb, and eggs and cookies are hidden in the garden. Many Germans also have an ‘Easter Fire’ where they burn their Christmas tree to show that winter is over and spring is coming. It is also popular in Germany to have an egg tree. Real eggs are painted and then hung from branches in a vase inside the house.
Known in Spain as Semana Santa, or Holy Week, Easter is observed for an entire seven days on the Iberian Peninsula. Celebrations begin during the last week of Lent, and it is marked by huge and elaborate religious processions in nearly every single town and village across the country. People parade through the streets in costumes or in hooded robes, carrying intricate religious floats depicting difference scenes from the bible, while often accompanied by live music. Some of the most well-known take place in Zamora, Valladolid, Seville and Granada.
Easter on the island of Bermuda is a colourful affair. People all over the island head out to fly vibrantly decorated homemade kites together, creating a beautiful display. In addition, the traditional foods of codfish cakes and hot cross buns are consumed to mark the holiday, usually after attending a sunrise Easter service on the water.
As a predominantly Catholic country, Poland goes all out for Easter. It all starts on Palm Sunday, when churchgoers receive dried flower bouquets or pussy willow branches in lieu of palms. Their version of Easter eggs is much more elaborate and intricate than our simple dyed ones. Called pisanki, they are painted with delicate, ornamental floral patterns. On Easter Monday, the Poles celebrate ‘Wet Monday,’ in which boys and men pour water on women and girls, although in recent years the tradition has evolved into a water fight where no one is spared.
Norway celebrates Easter in a very unusual way: by reading and watching stories about crime. This ‘Easter crime’ tradition is unique to Norwegians, as no other country around the world celebrates the sacred holiday by obsessing over mysteries, murders, and violence. Regardless of the reason, you’ll see more crime novels displayed in bookshop windows than chocolate bunnies and Easter scenes if you visit Norway around this time.
Let these fun Easter traditions from places across the world inspire you to visit them next year. You can always visit these destinations this year via virtual travel, if you want to enjoy being a part of a different tradition this year and Proxgy – a smartphone app – can help you do just that.
Proxgy uses smart helmets with 360-degree camera technology that provides users with an immersive travel experience. Book a Proxgy by logging on to the user app and a virtual avatar will be assigned to you, who will guide you and help you explore places you want to visit, all in real time!
So, be everywhere with Proxgy. It is virtual travel like you’ve never seen before!